China?s ban on consoles has been officially lifted. The ban was started in the year 2000 and this will mark the first time a foreign firm will be able to legally sell their consoles in the country. Microsoft will be launching the Xbox One on September of this year. Although that is good news, there are still some hurdles for Microsoft to overcome.
To bring the console to Chinese soil, Microsoft will be teaming up with Chinese entertainment business, BesTV. With the ban lifted, this venture will be the first of its kind and allows foreign firms to produce and sell hardware within the established Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
Microsoft?s Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy, Devices and Studios, Yusuf Mehdi, mentioned in a statement that: ?Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world,?. He also spoke about their partner saying: ?BesTV has a rich history of delivering innovative entertainment content. It is the ideal partner with which to bring the Xbox Business to China.?
China is a key market to build on, and the recent lift of the ban acknowledges that there is a growing Chinese middle class that is spending more in regards to technology and entertainment. China is always a prime market to tap into especially for a global brand like Microsoft. This all sounds promising, but it won?t all be smooth sailing. China provides challenges with respect to intellectual property and will make things harder for Microsoft, although that is not enough of a reason to skip out on China entirely. ?There are also cultural challenges of a foreign market to consider, as well as the Chinese government?s regulations regarding the sale of game consoles, piracy and localization.
On the flip side, the Chinese video game industry is booming and boasts nearly half a billion people playing games on the PC, mobile and online. The industry generated more than $13 billion in 2013 alone.
The Xbox One?s release onto the Chinese market has its ups and downs, but Microsoft will try their hardest to make it work.
Photo Source:?Xbox One website