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Animal Crossing ban foreshadows stricter Chinese gaming crackdown

Censorship has long prompted players to use code names and foreign services

This screenshot from the writer's own gameplay of the hit Nintendo title Animal Crossing features the "Lennon Wall" flag, designed by Chinese-Australian artist Badiucao in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters. (Daphne Lee)

TAIPEI -- Nintendo's wildly popular game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, has acquired many disguised identities in China since the government appeared to ban it in early April.

Consumers have become creative in obtaining copies under the counter, referring to the game with codes like "muscular man collecting tree branches" or "journey to the desert island" to find the remaining copies of the game through online chats.

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