HONG KONG — China has temporarily lifted a ban on video games consoles that has been in place for the past 14 years.

They were banned in the country in 2000 with the government explaining that they were injurious for health.

The temporary lifting of the ban means that foreign companies — Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony lead the pack — can manufacture consoles in the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

In the absence of consoles China’s gamers have become adept users of PC and mobile platforms. Many games use the “freemium” model where the game itself is free of charge, but users pay for additional weapons, powers or lives.