(Topic ID: 141960)

Pinball in China?

By wizard_mode

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 19 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Snailman
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 3 years ago

    Looking at the pin locator map here in pinside, I'm not seeing much in China, and nothing in Shanghai. This surprised me since Shanghai is a huge city with a population of more than 23 million! I'm wondering (hoping) that maybe the pinball map shows a sparse pinball machine population because of internet censorship by the Chinese government.

    The problem is there's a high liklihood that my job will be relocating our family to Shanghai for a few years and I would really really hate to be without pinball for this adventure!

    Has anyone here been to Shanghai and played pinball? I'm I totally out of luck?

    #2 3 years ago

    I have a friend who works in Shanghai, I will get in touch with him and see if he knows of any machines. I visited him this past spring and didn't notice any, but we were doing a ton of other things. On the plus side, there's a couple good microbreweries....

    #3 3 years ago

    Thanks LarryMac. Any info you can provide is much appreciated. Although, I'm afraid the pinball scene is not really a deciding factor for whether or not we go. But, it might help me decide whether or not to bring my own machines with me...

    #4 3 years ago

    Gary Stern talked about the pinball scene in other markets at the Stern panel at Expo. I'll post a link to the video of it once I get it uploaded, however basically what he said is that it's hard to build a pinball market in an area that has no history with pinball. They attempted it in China especially with NBA, however it didn't do too well. Still something they're interested in trying to grow, though.

    #5 3 years ago

    I pinged my guy in Shanghai again this morning (which is already this evening for him), and his response was "Still researching, but NOTHING is coming up". If any more information comes along, I'll let you know.

    Could be a business opportunity, especially in the French Concession area. Getting parts would be a pain in the butt though

    #6 3 years ago

    Ugh, totally not what I was hoping to hear. Thought it had to be a mistake.

    Thanks a lot for checking into it with your friend though. Guess I better start cramming...

    #7 3 years ago

    My buddy teaches English in China. He's never mentioned seeing a machine, although he lives in Shenzhen not Shanghai.

    #9 3 years ago

    I would assume what pascal confirmed - mostly centered in HK as it's a very different beast than mainland China. And Macau. Because gambling.

    #10 3 years ago

    Gary Stern has been to the Homepin factory in China. Their pins will be manufactured mainly for Aust. And local markets. Will be interesting to see if he can sell significant numbers in China...time will tell...check back in twelve months. Update when first pin will be produced will be advised soon. Mike lost his Wife Karen recently. Karen was a significant part of the business and Mikes life, understandably he is slowly getting things done.

    #11 3 years ago

    When I was in china (all over). I never saw any pins. However they do have these weird sit down video games. It's a large sit table (lots of ppl play). 1 tye is. They have virtual money and they cast nets to catch things and those things have set values. Almost like a vlt

    They have standard 2 player fighting games and stuff

    #12 3 years ago

    Yes I saw a couple on the pinside map near HK. Its just mind-blowing to me that there is NOTHING in Shanghai. Gary Stern must be foaming at the mouth trying to figure out how to teach the people in China how awesome pinball is! I assume that the home-use market is very small there though with the over-sized population density.

    #13 3 years ago

    Sorry to pile on, but I have found ZERO pins on mainland China in my travels there (around 3 times per year for the last 7 years) outside of the ones in Macau and Hong Kong. I don't really view those two places as "mainland" China. My home base is Shanghai, and the first few visits, I scoured sports bars, expat bars, etc trying to find a pin. Thankfully, I'm only there for around two weeks at a time.

    I heard from my Chinese colleagues that pins are not allowed in China due to the misconception that they are gambling devices. Quite amusing that they would prohibit gambling devices when you can see guys squatting around a table or open spot on the sidewalk betting on cards or Mahjong.

    Perhaps organize a visit to China for Roger Sharpe?

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from Snailman:

    I heard from my Chinese colleagues that pins are not allowed in China due to the misconception that they are gambling devices.

    Oh no! I wonder if this means I cannot even bring my own pins!!!

    #15 3 years ago

    Yes, I'd definitely look into that. Perhaps they have different rules for having a pin in your home vs having one out on location. Especially as an expat, I'd hope that they would allow it.

    But I'd want to be 100% certain, because who knows what they'd do? Confiscate them? I'm sure the local Communist Party secretary would enjoy them.

    #16 3 years ago

    Not much pinball in China that I've been able to find any internet references to.

    Strangely, there are several bingo pinball manufacturers in China and their main market appears to be south and central america.


    #17 3 years ago

    I have lived in mainland China since 2012 and I have searched the malls in over a dozen cities from Beijing to Urumqi. Most malls will have a huge arcade in the basement level, or in some other sweaty windowless area that may be a bit hard to find. Stern NBA Fastbreak is common and will often be placed 2 machines side by side. They are unmodified but have Chinese instruction cards placed on the apron. My theory is that whatever chain that set up these arcades ordered these in bulk as an experiment due to the theme as basketball is very popular in China. I have seen Stern Spiderman twice.

    While these arcades are packed full of locals, I have only seen a pinball played one time (and he was smoking and looking at the girls around him more than he looked at the game lol!). But they are crazy about those dance games, rhythm games, racing games, coin pushers, and Chinese made games that are like gambling where you win tickets or sometimes more tokens. There are these big tables like a sit down air-hockey but its a big flat screen showing water with fish that swim by and about 8 people will be sitting around it using joysticks to catch the fish. It looks incredibly boring to me but it's always full!

    You best bet for pinball in Asia would be a quick trip to Hong Kong, Bangkok, or Tokyo. Mainland China is great but you need to have lots of patience and an open mind. You will never see so many exotic cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Bentley in your life!

    #18 3 years ago

    Hong Kong there are a few. In mainland I only ever saw bingo type redemption games

    #19 3 years ago

    Space_pimp, what cities/malls in Eastern China do you recall had pins? I'll be in Beijing and Shanghai in December.

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