Video Games

Microsoft Looks to China to Expand Gaming Market

Ban on selling foreign game consoles to end there


Microsoft Corp. is forming a video-game venture with a Chinese company to capitalize on proposed free-trade rules that would end a 13-year ban on foreign companies selling consoles in the world's largest nation.

Microsoft and BesTV New Media Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, formed a $79 million gaming venture, the Chinese company announced in a statement to Shanghai's stock exchange on Sept. 23. BesTV will invest $40.29 million for a 51 percent stake, while Microsoft will invest $38.71 million for the rest, according to the filing. BesTV surged by the 10 percent limit to 51.11 yuan in Shanghai trading yesterday.