The Xbox One will be released on the Chinese mainland September next year, according to Funshion CEO Luo Jiangchun (article in Chinese). Shanghai-based media company BesTV bought a majority stake in Chinese video portal Funshion in August.
In September this year, BesTV and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced they would launch a joint-venture in Shanghai’s free trade zone to bring an entertainment console to the mainland. Together, BesTV and Microsoft sunk $79 million into the project.
Back then, the mystery device was dubbed Bestpad, and it was said to be based on Xbox technology. But Luo specifically mentioned the Xbox One, and even offered a specific time period for launch.
China’s game console ban has been in effect since 2000. Government documents issued by China’s State office in late September suggest the 13-year ban will come to an end, but we’ve heard many false alarms before. As we noted earlier, approval could still be denied by the Ministry of Culture, MIIT, and other relevant government departments.
The Xbox One’s emphasis on being a home multimedia platform and less of a pure gaming machine could help it bypass the ban. But even if Xbox makes its way into the Chinese market, that doesn’t mean it will be successful.
(Hat-tip to TechNode for spotting)
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)