Pokémon in Greater China

Pokémon in Greater China
Pokémon logo Southeast Asia.png
China and Taiwan Flags.png
Flags of Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao
Language Mandarin and Cantonese
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 November 16, 1998 *
November 28, 1998 *
December 1998 *
AG001 December 13, 2003 *
March 4, 2007 *
DP001 October 28, 2007 *
June 20, 2010 *
July 3, 2011 *
BW001 January 28, 2011 *
November 19, 2011 *
December 2012 *
XY001 July 13, 2014 *
August 3, 2014 *

The Pokémon (精靈寶可夢 / 精灵宝可梦) franchise first reached Greater China in 1998.



Since the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon in 2016, the official Chinese translation of Pokémon has been unified under the name 精靈寶可夢 / 精灵宝可梦, a combination of the words 精靈 / 精灵 (creature) and 寶可夢 / 宝可梦 (approximate transliteration of Pokémon). According to Tsunekazu Ishihara, the intention of the rename is to keep the pronunciation of "Pokémon" consistent throughout the world. However, the new name still takes its former translations into account by incorporating parts from the two into it[1].

The current name was first introduced in Mainland China on December 2010. Following the announcement of the rename, Pokémon Adventures received a reprint with updated translations, while iQiyi gradually uploaded the anime series for streaming under the new title. In addition, Takara Tomy had also released a new line of Pokémon toys from the Best Wishes series. On July 10, 2015, a special event was also held during the premiere of M17 in Shanghai to promote the new name[2].

Prior to Sun and Moon, Pokémon was officially translated as 神奇寶貝 in Taiwan and 寵物小精靈 (commonly abbreviated as 小精靈) in Hong Kong. According to the opening text and narrations in the Taiwanese dub, the term 神奇寶貝 is a contraction of the phrase 「神奇的口袋中的寶貝」 ("the magical creatures in the pocket"). Nintendo had previously used both translations on its official website prior to X and Y. The Pokémon.com page for Hong Kong used the former Hong Kong name in early 2016, while the Japanese Pokémon Center website used the former Taiwanese name in its FAQ page before 2014 and the Chinese-langauge Pokémon Store page continues to use it. However, since the announcement of the new Chinese translation of Pokémon (精靈寶可夢 / 精灵宝可梦), both manga and anime distributed in Taiwan and Hong Kong remains translated under their respective former translation.

In Mainland China, from 1998 to 2000, the Cantonese name 宠物小精灵 was used; from 2000 to 2010, starting when Jilin acquired the rights to publish Pokémon Adventures, the Taiwanese name 神奇宝贝 was used; in 2010, the name was changed to the current name, 精灵宝可梦.

Previously, the anime, manga, and various guidebooks have also given names to the Pokémon, characters, locations and other important terminologies. With the upcoming release of Sun and Moon, Nintendo has provided a new set of names for the first 151 Pokémon, with some receiving completely new names[3]. For more information on these localized names for Pokémon, see List of Chinese Pokémon names.

Due to the lack of official Chinese translations of games prior to Generation VII and the proliferation of bootlegs in the market, the unofficial name 口袋妖怪 (literally meaning "pocket monster") is commonly used by fans in Mainland China. The name is also trademarked by Nintendo in Mainland China and Taiwan, but remains unused by official media.

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The rename of the series has met some criticism among the fanbase, particularly in Hong Kong where it became a topic of socio-cultural and political controversy[4]. Fans have taken complaints the name change to Nintendo HK's Facebook page, pointing out that its Cantonese translation did not match local pronunciation and citing examples of other franchise where various regions received its own localization. On May 31, 2016, members of a radical political group named Civic Passion protested Pikachu's name change outside the Japanese consulate in Central, Hong Kong, as its original Cantonese name 比卡超 was changed to its Mandarin name 皮卡丘.

Pokémon video games

Currently, the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon are the only set of games to be officially translated into Chinese, available in both Traditional and Simplified characters. In the years prior to the release of the Chinese localizations, only the Japanese and English versions of the video games were made available in Taiwan and Hong Kong, while video games were banned in Mainland China around that period[5]. The upcoming release came two years after the lifting of the 14-year ban of video games in Mainland China[6].

As a result of lack of Chinese localizations in the previous games, many Chinese-translated language hacks and bootleg versions of the series are distributed into the mainland. Interactions between these bootlegs and any official game cartridges are possible, but not recommended since the Chinese characters were never programmed into any official cartridges, and could result in file corruption on both cartridges, forcing the gamers to start over from the beginning.

In 2016, the Pokémon Video Game National Championships was held in Taipei on June 11 and in Hong Kong on July 3.

Pokémon anime

The Mandarin (Taiwan) dub of the Pokémon anime and Pokémon movie is currently distributed by Mighty Media (曼迪傳播), with the Cantonese translation of the anime distributed by its subsidiary, Mighty Media Hong Kong (曼迪香港). The Cantonese dub of the movie is distributed by Universe Laser & Video Co., Limted (寰宇鐳射錄影有限公司). Previously, the Cantonese translation of the anime and the Mandarin (Taiwan) dub of both the anime and movie were distributed by Top Insight (群英社). Moreover, the Cantonese translation was initially handled by Medialink Animation International Ltd. (羚邦國際), but had already lost the rights to distribute the anime after EP076. The most recent Mandarin (Mainland China) dubs are recorded and produced by Beijing DynamicMedia Co., Ltd. (北京迪美文化发展有限公司). All dubs of the anime are mainly based on the original Japanese version. The anime has aired in several different channels, such as China Television, YoYoTV, Cartoon Network, and MOD in Taiwan, TVB Jade, TVB Kids, aTV and Hong Kong Cable in Hong Kong, and CCTV-6 in mainland China.

With the exception of summarizing episodes, side story episodes, the infamous EP038, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, and the clip shows, all episodes and the first eighteen movies have been dubbed into both Mandarin and Cantonese.

In Taiwan, all episodes prior to the XY&Z series have been aired, with the XY&Z series currently on air. Eighteen Pokémon movies have also been released, with the thirteenth movie released just 20 days after the Japanese premiere. Subsequent films were released within a few months after the Japanese premiere.

In Hong Kong, all episodes prior to the XY&Z series have been aired, with the XY&Z series planning to be aired some time in the near future. The first episode of the Best Wishes series premiered on November 19, 2011, while the first episode of the XY series has premiered on July 13, 2014. Seventeen Pokémon movies have also been released.

In mainland China, Pokémon anime returned after three years of hiatus when the Diamond & Pearl series (精灵宝可梦 DP:钻石与珍珠) premiered on July 3, 2011. The show went on an indefinite hiatus after airing only 27 episodes. On December 2012, iQiyi put the first 84 episodes of the Taiwanese dub of Best Wishes up for online legal viewing, with episodes from the BW Season 2 and the original series added in the subsequent months. The series is released under the title 精灵宝可梦 超级愿望. Episodes of the original series, Advanced Generation series, and Diamond and Pearl series were later added.


Unlike the other dubs, the Mandarin dub subtitles the original Japanese opening and ending themes. However, for the Kanto saga of the original mainland dub, the localization team used an original Mandarin song, with minor edits made to the original video. For the Taiwanese dub and mainland redub, both dubs had instead subtitled the original Japanese theme. However, due to the request of the Japanese officials, an original Mandarin theme song was used in the place of the Japanese theme when the Best Wishes series is broadcast on YoYoTV. Nevertheless, the Japanese theme was used in the fourteenth movie. In addition, the anime tends to switch back to the original Japanese theme for unknown reasons. However, the new episodes in MOD continued to use the new Mandarin theme after the switch from the Japanese theme. As of the XY series, the dub has fully returned to subtitling the Japanese theme.

For the Cantonese dub, it used Cantonese openings that are either original or based on the Japanese version. It continued up until midway through the Advanced Generation series (寵物小精靈超世代), before using the subtitled Japanese themes like the Taiwanese dub. However, a Cantonese version of Best Wishes! was used during the premiere of the new series. The dub later switched back to subtitling the Japanese themes. For more information on these theme songs, see List of Chinese Pokémon themes.

Cast and crew

Many voice actors and actresses have contributed to the production of the Chinese dubs of the Pokémon anime.

Character Taiwan Hong Kong Mainland China
Ash Ketchum 汪世瑋 Wāng Shìwěi*
賀世芳 Hè Shìfāng*
李明幸 Li Míngxìng*
黃玉娟 Wòhng Yuhkgyūn (Xenia Wong)*
陳凱婷 Chàhn Hóitìhng (Joyce Chan)*
盧素娟 Lòuh Sougyūn (Doris Lo)*
吳小藝 Ngh Síungaih*
陳安瑩 Chàhn Ōnyìhng*
王小燕 Wáng Xiǎoyàn*
Gary Oak 詹雅菁 Zhān Yǎjīng*
王瑞芹 Wáng Ruìqín*
林丹鳳 Làhm Dāanfuhng (Peggy Lam)
Misty 林美秀 Lín Měixiù*
謝佼娟 Xiè Jiǎojuān
龍顯蕙 Lóng Xiǎnhuì
林凱羚 Lín Kǎilíng
梁少霞 Lèuhng Síuhàh (Sharon Leung)*
張雪儀 Jēung Syutyìh (Winnie Cheung)*
劉惠雲 Làuh Waihwàhn (Vivien Lau)*
Jessie 詹雅菁 Zhān Yǎjīng
姚敏敏 Yáo Mǐnmǐn
盧敘榮 Lú Xùróng
黃麗芳 Wòhng Laihfōng (Anita Wong)*
譚淑英 Tàahm Suhkyīng (Rebecca Tam)*
莊巧怡 Jōng Háauyìh (Nicole Chong)*
金燕 Jīn Yàn*
James 吳東原 Wú Dōngyuán
陳進益 Chén Jìnyì
符爽 Fú Shuǎng
孫誠 Sūn Chéng
謝潔貞 Jeh Gitjīng (Dorothy Tsze) (Young James)
劉奕希 Làuh Yihkhēi (Ricky Lau)*
陳卓智 Chàhn Jeukji (Dominic Chan)*
黎偉明 Làih Wáihmìhng*
陳廷軒 Chàhn Tìhnghīn (Turrick Chan)*
蔡忠衛 Choi Jūngwaih*
郭盛 Guō Shèng*
Meowth 汪世瑋 Wāng Shìwěi
雷碧文 Léi Bìwén
龍顯蕙 Lóng Xiǎnhuì
林凱羚 Lín Kǎilíng
梁偉德 Lèuhng Wáihdāk (Pasu Leung)*
王夢華 Wòhng Muhngwàh (Eva Wong)*
王晨光 Wáng Chénguāng*
Brock 于正昇 Yú Zhèngshēng*
梁興昌 Liáng Xìngchāng
符爽 Fú Shuǎng
李錦綸 Léih Gámlèuhn (Alan Lee)*
何承駿 Hòh Sìhngjeun (Rattan Ho)*
劉奕希 Làuh Yihkhēi (Ricky Lau)*
張振聲 Jēung Jansīng*
赵震 Zhào Zhèn*
Tracey Sketchit 符爽 Fú Shuǎng 曹啟謙 Chòuh Káihīm (Monte Cho)*
黎景全 Làih Gíngchyùhn (Kinson Lai)*
陳卓智 Chàhn Jeukji (Dominic Chan)*
張振聲 Jēung Jansīng*
May 傅曼君 Fù Mànjūn 張頌欣 Jēung Juhngyā (Judy Cheung)*
朱妙蘭 Jyū Miuhlàahn (Peggy Chu)*
Max 詹雅菁 Zhān Yǎjīng 陸惠玲 Luhk Waihlìhng (Joyce Luk)
Dawn 林美秀 Lín Měixiù 劉惠雲 Làuh Waihwàhn (Vivien Lau)*
楊善諭 Yèuhng Sihnyuh (Zanne Yeung)*
鄭麗麗 Jehng Laihlaih (Kate Cheng)*
王慧珠 Wòhng Waihjyū (Kimmy Wong)*
纪元 Jì Yuán*
Paul 李世揚 Li Shìyáng 曹啟謙 Chòuh Káihīm (Monte Cho)
Iris 林美秀 Lín Měixiù 魏惠娥 Ngaih Waihngòh *
陳琴雲 Chàhn Kàhmwàhn*
高可慧 Gōu Hówaih (Miu Miu Ko)*
Cilan 于正昇 Yú Zhèngshēng 胡家豪 Wùh Gāhòuh (Lupus Wu)
Serena 詹雅菁 Zhān Yǎjīng 凌晞 Lìhng Hēi (Heidy Ling)
Clemont 劉如蘋 Liú Rúpíng 袁淑珍 Yùhn Suhkjān (Penny Yuen)
Bonnie 林美秀 Lín Měixiù 何寶珊 Hòh Bóusāan (Rae Ho)


Mighty Media Co., Ltd. currently holds the license to distribute the Pokémon anime and movies in Taiwan.

Pro-Insight International Co., Ltd. (博英社國際股份有限公司), a subsidiary of Top Insight International, was the former distributor of anime and movie-related merchandise such as toys and DVD sets in Taiwan. As of January 2014, all Pokémon-related content have been removed from both its corporate and commercial website, while its Pokémon-related merchandise have now been pulled out from the Taiwanese market.

Mighty Media Hong Kong Co., Ltd. currently holds the license to distribute the main series Pokémon anime in Hong Kong, while Universe Laser & Video Co., Limted currently holds the license to distribute the Pokémon movies including the Pikachu shorts.

Pokémon manga

Pokémon Adventures has been translated into various versions in Chinese. The Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) version is translated by Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd. (青文出版社有限公司), while the Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong) version is translated by its subsidiary, Hong Kong Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd. (香港青文出版社有限公司). The Simplified Chinese (Mainland China) version is translated by Jilin Publishing Group (吉林出版集团).

CoroCoro was also distributed within the three regions under the names 快樂快樂月刊 (Taiwan), 快樂龍 (Hong Kong), and 龍漫CORO-CORO (Mainland China). As of 2015, CoroCoro has ended serialization in all three region. Since February 2015, a digital version of the magazine (無限誌) has taken CoroCoro's place in the serialization of various manga, which includes the Traditional Chinese (Taiwan) version of X & Y chapter of Pokémon Adventures.

In Taiwan, the manga are currently translated by Ching Win Publishing Group. Pokémon Pocket Monsters, Magical Pokémon Journey, The Electric Tale of Pikachu, and Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All were all translated by Da Ran Culture (大然文化). As the company had become defunct since 2003, the sequels of Pokémon Pocket Monsters such as Pocket Monsters Diamond and Pearl were taken over by Ching Win Publishing Group. Ching Win has also translated Pokémon Zensho, Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys, Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, Pokémon Try Adventure, and several movie manga adaptations and guidebooks.

In mainland China, Pokémon Pocket Monsters and its sequel Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire have also been translated. Ash & Pikachu, Pokémon Getto da Ze!, and Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys have also been translated as well. Pokémon Adventures was also previously translated by China Light Industry Press (轻工业出版社) under its Cantonese name before 2000. While the Cantonese term of Pokémon is used in that translation, all other names and terminologies were based on the Taiwanese translation. As Jilin took over in 2000, it was renamed to the Taiwanese translation for consistency. As of 2011, it was renamed to its current name.

In Hong Kong, most of the manga sold in Taiwan are also sold there, as Ching Win Publishing Group also owns the distribution rights of the manga in Hong Kong. However, the names are given some changes due to difference in the dialect and terminologies between the two regions, and is translated completely seperately by its Hong Kong subsidiary, Hong Kong Ching Win Publishing Co., Ltd., with 神奇寶貝 changed to 寵物小精靈 being one of the major changes. Pokémon Pocket Monsters, Magical Pokémon Journey, The Electric Tale of Pikachu, and Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All were all translated by Da Ran Culture (Hong Kong) (大然文化(香港)). As the company had become defunct since 2003, the sequels of Pokémon Pocket Monsters such as Pocket Monsters Ruby and Sapphire were taken over by Ching Win Publishing Group. The Pocket Monsters Film Comic series of books was translated into Cantonese by Viz Communication China (H.K.) Ltd.


Manga Taiwan Hong Kong Mainland China
Pokémon Adventures 神奇寶貝特別篇 寵物小精靈特別篇 精灵宝可梦特别篇
Pokémon Pocket Monsters 神奇寶貝 寵物小精靈 神奇宝贝
The Electric Tale of Pikachu 電擊皮卡丘 電擊比卡超 N/A
Magical Pokémon Journey 皮卡丘大冒險 我愛PiPiPi 寵物小精靈PiPiPi大追逐 N/A
Ash & Pikachu N/A N/A 小智与皮卡丘
Pokémon Zensho 漫畫版 神奇寶貝全書 漫畫版 寵物小精靈全書 N/A
Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All 神奇寶貝一把抓 寵物小精靈大捕捉 神奇宝贝大搜捕
Pokémon Gold & Silver: The Golden Boys 神奇寶貝金·銀版:黃金少年 寵物小精靈金·銀:黃金少年 神奇宝贝-金·银:金色少年
Pokémon Ruby-Sapphire N/A 爆笑寵物小精靈R·S編 神奇宝贝 红宝石·蓝宝石篇
Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! 神奇寶貝 鑽石·珍珠篇 寵物小精靈 鑽石·珍珠篇 N/A
Pocket Monsters DP 神奇寶貝鑽石·珍珠歡樂祭 N/A N/A
Pokémon Try Adventure 神奇寶貝三隻組挑戰大冒險 寵物小精靈三人行挑戰大冒險 N/A


Hong Kong
Mainland China

Pokémon Trading Card Game

The Pokémon Trading Card Games (集換式卡片遊戲) are available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Mainland China with most of the cards, boosters, and theme decks nearly identical to the ones that were released internationally. Cards released in Hong Kong and Taiwan are printed in Traditional Chinese characters with minor grammatical and naming differences, while the mainland versions are printed in Simplified characters. In addition to the Hong Kong releases, English versions of the cards have also been released in Hong Kong as well, and are often displayed on Hong Kong's official Pokémon website. Although the Trading Card Games exist in all three areas, only Hong Kong actually takes part in the worldwide tournaments.

Pokémon Battrio

Pokémon Battrio (神奇寶貝 三隻組對戰) was released in Taiwan in 2010, making it the only country outside of Japan to have released the arcade game. Many of the machines were found in department stores throughout Taiwan. Nine sets were released with the last being Rayquaza.

The merchandise ended in Taiwan on December 2012 due to lower-than-expected popularity, the end of the Taiwanese contractor's contract, and the earlier retirement of the machines in Japan. All Taiwanese versions of the arcade machine have been removed and it is still unknown whether the Taiwanese game chips were playable in Japan.

Pokémon Tretta (神奇寶貝TRETTA) was released in Taiwan on April 2016.


PokéPark logo used in Taiwan

There are also several events held in Taiwan. One of the first events were featured in PokéPark during 2006, but only for the Japanese language games. Mew, Jirachi and Celebi were distributed. Old Sea Map was also distributed for the pre-release ticket of the eighth movie. Keldeo and Meloetta were distributed in commemoration of the 15th movie during 2012, while Genesect and Mewtwo were distributed in 2013. Both Pikachu and Sylveon were also distributed in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Nintendo HK currently handles the distributions in both regions.

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A PokéPark theme park was opened in Taiwan in 2006.

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