Long-suffering Chinese console gamers were disappointed yet again when the global hit game Animal Crossing vanished from Taobao a month ago.

With only three Nintendo Switch games licensed for sale in China, gamers have long relied on the grey market for imported consoles and game cartridges. 

Using sales volume data from market analyst firm Niko partners and public price information, TechNode estimates that Nintendo sold $32 million worth of the Switch console in 2019. We estimate that sales of consoles in China on the grey market amounted to $183 million.

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Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza was TechNode's blockchain and fintech reporter until July 2021, when she moved to CoinDesk to cover crypto in Asia. Get in touch with her via email or Twitter.

Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. He writes a monthly newsletter tracking...

Shaun Ee

Shaun Ee is a Yenching Scholar at Peking University and nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council, working at the intersection of geopolitics, tech, and national security. Before moving back to Asia,...