The potential audience for Nintendo Switch just got a lot bigger. Earlier today, a report surfaced from China suggesting that Tencent, one of the world’s largest game publishers, has been provisionally approved to sell Nintendo Switch bundled with a demo version of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe in China. Shortly after this story broke, Nintendo confirmed a Chinese partnership with Tencent to The Wall Street Journal.
Although the partner companies have received initial approval, there are still more steps to take. The ruling on Tencent’s ability to distribute Switch in China is in a comment period that lasts until April 24th. Meanwhile, neither company has yet acquired permission to begin publishing games in China, which will require a second approval.
Nintendo has been preparing for this move for some time now. A January update added Chinese language support to Switch’s UI, and more recently the same support was added to Nintendo Switch Online’s digital library of NES games. This is a move that will certainly please investors (who ask Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa about the Chinese market in every shareholder’s meeting), and we can already see the impact it’s having. The company’s stock value is currently up over 12% in the US.