A Pokémon GO release is likely to happen three weeks from now in China. This report comes after the discovery by a tourist that the game is playable in the city of Taiyuan, where he captured a Farfetch'd on Wednesday.
Eric Ji, an Albany, New York resident, posted on Reddit about his discovery of Pokémon GO in China, where the game has been prohibited. Upon his attempt in launching the Pokémon GO app, Ji was surprised to have found out Rattata, Vulpix and Spinarak in the nearby list at around 8:40 am. He noted that he tried to open the app a day before and though he was able to get through the game, there were no Pokémon anywhere on the map.
"During the month long trip at Taiyuan, China: this was the first time any sign of life was discovered on the map", recalls Ji. "The map previously had roads and buildings but there were no Pokémon, Pokestops, or Gyms".
Ji added that he was able to discover two nearby PokéStops and a Gym at "real life attractions" around the city. In a state of disbelief, Ji took to Ingress to see how real was what he saw, and to his surprise, he learnt that the said PokéStops "were at the same locations as two Ingress portals". Ingress is another augmented reality game developed by Niantic where a Pokémon hiding is seen clearer.
"The Gym was expectedly white and unclaimed", writes Ji, adding that a level 2 Exeggutor Raid appears there after an hour.
As he approached the raid's location, a Farfetch'd showed up on the road out of the blue. However, as he closed into the raid, Ji lost Farfetch'd from the nearby list as well as the Gym and PokéStops "as if the game was never released again".
Although most parts of the game seemed fine, Pokémon GO, however, did not go completely well and smooth as possible, Ji stressed. He says, "While driving on the road, the GPS was not accurate and the map had some wrong features".
Ji said he has been troubled with a lot of questions in his mind, asking "Did China unlock the game? Or did Niantic accidentally release the game?"
According to two Reddit users who responded to Ji's report, they were able to experience a similar occurrence before. Anuj Kulkarni of India and FieldsofAsphodela of Japan said they saw some Pokémon in their nearby list as well three weeks before Pokémon GO was released in their respective countries.
Is Niantic relaunching Pokémon GO in China anytime soon? No one can surely tell for now.