Microsoft enters China's gaming market

Updated: 2013-09-24 22:04


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Microsoft Corp has formed a joint venture with BesTV New Media Co, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, one of China's major broadcasters, to officially extend its reach into China's gaming market.

According to a document filed to Shanghai Stock Exchange by BesTV on Monday night, the total investment of the joint venture is $237 million, while BesTV will take a 51 percent stake and Microsoft will hold 49 percent. The newly established venture will have registered capital of $79 million.

Microsoft and BesTV will both fund the venture in cash, according to the document. The new company will design, develop and manufacture gaming and entertainment software, as well as marketing and selling those software products.

Microsoft confirmed the cooperation to China Daily on Tuesday morning. “We can confirm Microsoft is working with BesTV, a subsidiary of the Shanghai Media Group, to explore new opportunities in Shanghai and China,” Microsoft said in an emailed statement.

The US-based software giant said it believes there is great market potential in Chinas, as well as great partnership opportunities. “This is the first step of many to come for Microsoft and BesTV and we look forward to exploring new opportunities for bringing entertainment offerings to China,” the statement added.

Industry analysts pointed out that cooperation with BesTV might allow Microsoft to successfully introduce its video gaming business to the Chinese market. Since the joint venture will be registered in Shanghai's new free-trade zone, Microsoft could legally import gaming products and services to the Chinese mainland.

The Chinese government said in July that it will allow foreign game console companies to sell products in China if they register in the Shanghai free-trade zone, relaxing a decade-long ban on the country's game console market.

On July 3, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved Shanghai's free trade zone. It will cover 28 square kilometers and act as an experiment for deepening reform and opening-up.