Xie Enwei, the general manager of Xbox China, is stepping down from his position after serving 24 years in Microsoft.
Microsoft’s response to media’s inquiries on this matter confirmed Xie’s resignation without giving reasons for his leave. “During the past 24 years, Xie worked with total devotion. We are thankful for all his work and hope he can achieve something even greater in the future,” said the company.
After joining Microsoft in 1994, Xie led the company’s tool and server team and marketing and operations unit. But he is more widely known as the head of Microsoft’s Xbox business in China.
In 2014, China finally dropped the decade-long ban on gaming consoles, where the government citing the “mental wellbeing of China’s youth” as the primary factor. The change opened big opportunities for foreign game console manufacturers to access the Chinese market, where their products were only available on the grey market.
Along with a group competitors from home and abroad, Microsoft is among the first companies to tap on the changing trend. The tech giant has established a joint venture with Shanghai-based media service BesTV New Media by investing $79 million in 2014. Xie Enwei was named as the general manager of Microsoft’s Xbox Department China as well as the head of the joint venture back then. The company’s flagship product Xbox One landed in the country in 2014.
Although Xbox received a lot of interest in the Chinese market, it didn’t do very well, mostly because it’s expensive and lots of games are still region locked. This combination enraged lots of Xbox fans; the company lost lots of customers to its competitor Sony’s PS4, which is region free in China even though it entered the Chinese market half a year later than Xbox.
In addition, Xbox is having a tough time globally. Globally, Xbox One has only sold 37.2 million units as of April 14 this year. The figure for PS4 is 78 million, more than double that for Xbox, according to data from business intelligence and research firm VGChartz.