Microsoft aligns with Chinese company for new games device

Xbox maker forms joint venture with Shanghai media behemoth BestTV to release streaming device in China.

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Microsoft and Shanghai media giant BesTV have formed a joint venture to launch a new games device that will offer streaming entertainment services in China, it has been announced.

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In a note posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (via Polygon), both companies detailed the "family games and related services" initiative--E-Home Entertainment Development--which will be supported by an initial investment of $237 million.

Chinese media reports, which have not been confirmed, claim the new partnership will result in a console based on Xbox technology and called "Bestpad." BesTV is a leading Internet and television provider in China. It also manufactures and sells smart TVs.

This news follows China's recent decision to end its 13-year console ban. Under the terms of the decision, game consoles can be sold in China so long as they are made in Shanghai's new free-trade zone and approved by "culture-related authorities."

This new venture is expected to be registered in this newly established free-trade zone.

"This is the first step of many to come for Microsoft and BesTV," a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. "We look forward to exploring new opportunities for bringing entertainment offerings to China, but we have no further details to share."

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