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Microsoft forms Chinese console venture

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Microsoft has formed a joint venture with Shanghai media giant BesTV to launch a new games device offering streaming entertainment services into China.

The companies posted a note on the Shanghai Stock Exchange today outlining the new operation, which will launch with an initial investment of $237 million. Unconfirmed reports in the Chinese media stated that the new operation would launch a console based on Xbox technology called Bestpad.

BesTV manufactures and sells electronic products including smart TVs as well as offering entertainment services. It holds Chinese TV rights for major properties like the English Premier League.

Games console manufacturers have been seeking a way into the Chinese market since the government there lifted a long-standing ban on the import and sale of consoles. The new joint-venture will launch in the newly established free trade zone in Shanghai.

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