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Microsoft Enters Venture Aimed at Chinese Video Game Market

Microsoft and BesTV New Media have formed a $79 million gaming venture to take advantage of China’s pending relaxation of a ban on sales of consoles by foreign companies. BesTV—a Shanghai Media Group subsidiary—will invest $40.29 million for a 51 percent stake in the new E-Home Entertainment Development company, which will develop games and related services. Microsoft will invest $38.71 million for a 49 percent stake. China plans to open a free-trade zone in Shanghai on 29 September in which foreign-made video games and consoles could be sold, thereby ending a 13-year ban on such sales. Chinese officials say they will inspect games to determine whether they find content acceptable. The total investment in the firm by the two companies is expected to eventually reach $237 million. The Chinese video game market is valued at about $10 billion. (Bloomberg)(Xinhua News Agency)

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