Xbox One's China Launch Moves Forward as Microsoft Signs Deal With China Telecom

The company came to an agreement with a Chinese telecommunications corporation to make the Xbox One available in the country.

Today, Microsoft and a Chinese state-owned telecommunications company officially struck a deal that will allow the Xbox One to be sold in mainland China. This marks the first time a game console will be available in the country since 2000, when the government implemented a ban on them.

China Telecom Corporation will begin selling the console in September. It has signed an exclusive contract with Microsoft, Reuters reported today. As a result, the console will be offered to China Telecom's 30 million subscribers. It may be offered to the general public, as well, according to a Microsoft statement to Reuters. "When Xbox One launches in September, in addition to the China Telecom consumer offer, it will also be available to the general public for purchase at retail," a Microsoft spokesperson explained. We have reached out to Microsoft for clarification.

The two companies have not yet announced a price for the system.

This follows last year's news that China had lifted the ban on the sale of consoles. At that time, Microsoft announced that it had entered into a partnership with Chinese television company BesTV to manufacture the Xbox One in the newly-formed Shanghai Free Trade Zone. In April, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox would go on sale in China this September.

The Xbox One won't be the only console available in China forever, though. In May, Sony announced plans to bring the PlayStation 4 to the country, but no dates have been provided yet.

Since they were released last November, the PS4 has been outselling the Xbox One in the United States as well as worldwide. In June, we learned that the PS4 was the best-selling console in the U.S. despite a cheaper, Kinect-less Xbox One being sold. It will be interesting to see if the Xbox One can gain ground when it launches in China this fall. Recently, a study found that there are over 500 million gamers in the country.

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

202 comments
andfx8
andfx8

Now they can have their cake, and eat it too.

Tranula
Tranula

I feel sorry for all the Chinese who had been oppressed by a 14 year ban.  That's communism for ya.  Makes me happy to live in the U.S.


Takeno456
Takeno456

This will be a very interesting development to see how the X1 or the other consoles do in China. However the big 3 had better be careful. If gaming truly takes off in China I would not be surprised if a Chinese company tries to enter the market a few years later. Given that now all of the consoles are made in China anyway a future domestic company, being state backed of course would be very stiff competition for the big 3. 

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Well.. As someone that's just come back from a 2 week business trip to China I'll say one thing - don't believe everything you read on here about China being a 'PC only' country, or not liking PlayStation because it's Japanese.


One of the complexes I visited in Shanghai (essentially a 6 story building for technology) was filled with phones, cameras, TV's, PlayStation Vita's and PS4's.  In fact the PS Vita seem to be pretty popular.  They were legitimate packages too, not 'PolyStations' as folks often joke about.


Understandably the PS4 is out in neighboring Japan so is likely imported; therefore it's not fair to compare it's presence in comparison to Xbox.  However, there does genuinely seem to be interest in console gaming and PlayStation is already very much on sale - even though it hasn't launched.  Numerous stores were selling the thing and it appears to be fairly priced, even for an import.


It'll be interesting to see how sales do take off for both companies when they're officially released.

ziseknsa
ziseknsa

One thing I know, because I am chinese although I grew up in the US.... Many, many many Chinese people dislike anything Japanese..... for historic reasons.


In our culture there's a subtle influence from our parents to "dislike" the Japanese....and no one says it directly, but it is well known...


btw, I love my Xbox One =)

xantufrog
xantufrog

It'll be interesting to see what comes of these consoles entering that market. It's huge, to be sure, but also very different as far as I can tell. Kind of hard to predict what will float and sink in advance. MS is smart for jumping on it, though - such a large potential customer base is worth the risk

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

I thought I've seen M$ buy everything..... game companies, the kinect, and other companies, but they have so much money they can accu5ly buy customers! Now that is absolutely amazing lol

mineflare
mineflare

60% interest in PS4 and less than 11% in the X1 which embarrassingly is less than even the Xbox 360 interests  according to Chinese gaming polls. Both which will have weak sales either way in the end because online MMOs with microtransactions will always be the main gaming entree over there.

gunnmetal
gunnmetal

so what happened to eternal_napalm? 

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Take that Sony boys, ms is opening up shop in huge markets while Sony is closing shop and operating out of a closet in a market

pork7
pork7

This is the last chance for xb0ner. Chinese may buy it just to piss off japan. They do hate the japanese with a passion.

quicktim3
quicktim3

i dont really see xbox doing well at all in china. i mean what games does the XBO have that would even interest the China crowd. 

oflow
oflow

@mineflare no one cares about China they steal all copyrighted material anyway.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@b74kd3th PS4's are already very much on sale over there - just imported.  I've just come back from a 2 week business trip to Suzhou and Shanghai.  Didn't see a single Xbox though...


Interestingly I did see a Sony 4K TV presentation for the world cup which also included Kinect Sports for the kids to play on.  Only the Xbox was hidden away and had zero advertising, shrewd move! :P

rasterror
rasterror

@b74kd3th Stop, just stop. There is a lot more interest in China for the PS4 than there is for the Xbox One do to China having former Playstation ties. 

Qmajinbuu
Qmajinbuu

@b74kd3th LOL what are you talking about???  The Xbox One has been failing as a system and have such a low number of systems sold that they won't even release the actual sales figures.

eternai_napalm
eternai_napalm

Like gangsters, selling abunch of drugs, making a bunch of money but still leaving in a project driving 80s model caddys

tmorri603
tmorri603

@pork7 I was thinking the same thing when I first started reading this. The hate between the 2 countries is deeply rooted. I don't see the PS4 doing well in China.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

@quicktim3 Allow me to rephrase your question: Which games would even be legally allowed in china?

oflow
oflow

@eternai_napalm this statement validates you are a nerd. 80s model caddies are real caddies any OG knows this.

pork7
pork7

@eternai_napalm I did NOT drop out of high school. I dropped out of middle school. Now I got me an obama-phone and my check comes once a month. I just luvs my president.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

@eternai_napalm damn... i think i could feel that burn from here...

Also what is it with sony fundamentalists that want to see the Xbox fail so badly? Is it jealousy? is it fear? or is it perhaps utter ignorance and having no idea how commerce works? generally speaking If one competiting party drops away the other parties up their prices... This means sony producs will actually be more expensive in the long run.

But hey perhaps it'll create a gap for another mafia funded Gizmondo! Stickyballs ahoy!

oflow
oflow

@fearthedaemon @Richmaester6907 @mineflare yeah so thats why Google pulled completely out?

When the Chinese government is behind hacking and cheating corporations, in the long run it might be a bad deal.  Who do you go to complain to in China?  The Chinese courts run by the same government stealing your stuff in the first place?  The US government in hock to the Chinese bankers for trillions?

Like they say in dominoes, "All money aint good money"

eternai_napalm
eternai_napalm

Well, he scratched my CD, pulled it out in pure daylight and scratched it.

eternai_napalm
eternai_napalm

Rory every time you speak an on the fence xbox fan goes to Sony, you're toxic.

Who deleted my comment? Are we pre schoolers that need you cover our eyes from bad things?

eternai_napalm
eternai_napalm

That would be a really dumb mod to think that I'm eternal and not a parody

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

@rorytmeadowsv7 @b74kd3th A google funded console (given it's interesting for investors and developers (i mean it needs 3rd party games) could actually dominate the market. Also it would scare me a little... as google is already aiming for world domination (in happy colours)

eternai_napalm
eternai_napalm

But I haven't, and we are straying away from the question.