Shanghai-based media service BesTV New Media (SH: 600637) and Microsoft Corp announced Sept. 23 that they planned to co-launch a joint venture by investing $79 million. The two companies will hold 51% and 49% stake of the new company, respectively (report in Chinese).
The joint venture, which will locate at Shanghai Free Trade Zone, is principally engaged in design, distribution and sales of game and related home entertainment devices. The two companies planned to release a new home gaming console, preliminary named Bestpad, in the future. To develop the new product, Microsoft will provide Xbox related technology and BesTV will offer OTT license and part of its video resources.
Chinese government issued a policy in 2000, forbidding enterprises and individuals to produce and sell electronic game devices and accessories in domestic market. Presently all game consoles, including Microsoft’s XBox and Sony’s PlayStation, are not allowed to be sold in Chinese market.
Industry insiders interpret the tie-up between BesTV and Microsoft as a signal to lifting the ban and opening up of Chinese electronic gaming market.