Is China’s Ban On Gaming Consoles Finally Lifting?
China's BesTV says it will team with Microsoft to invest USD79 million in the establishment of a joint venture named Shanghai Baijiahe Information Technology Development Company Limited for the creation of China-made gaming consoles.
With USD40.29 million cash investment, BesTV will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture; while Microsoft, with USD38.71 million cash investment, will hold the remaining 49%. The new JV will have one general manager, who will be nominated by Microsoft; and one deputy general manager, who will be nominated by BesTV.
According to the report, the two parties will cooperate in the production and sales of gaming consoles and related games and entertainment software. Microsoft will be responsible for providing Xbox-related technologies, while BesTV will offer an OTT license and some movie and TV resources. The two parties will jointly launch a new family gaming terminal product named Bestpad.
It has been 13 years since the Chinese government shut down the gaming console market. In June 2000, China's seven government departments jointly issued a regulation to ban all production and sales of electronic gaming devices and parts targeting the Chinese market. However, the cooperation between BesTV and Microsoft may be a sign that China will lift the ban on gaming consoles.
During recent years, Microsoft has been enhancing its development and promotion of the Xbox gaming console. In May 2013, a Microsoft executive said that the company aimed to sell 25 million Xbox 360 consoles in the next five years. As for Xbox One, Microsoft's new-generation product, the company aimed at total sales of 400 million.