Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Chinese Internet TV company BesTV New Media Co. is setting up a joint venture. Microsoft and BesTV will be developing “family games and related services” with a total investment of up to $237 million. The venture will have registered capital of $79 million. Shanghai Media Group’s BesTV will have a 51% stake and Microsoft will have a 49% stake.
There is not much information about the specifics around the joint venture in terms of product development. It is believed that BesTV will develop family games for the Microsoft Xbox console.
Gaming consoles are banned in China, but they have been made official through unauthorized channels. Console sales have been weak because of the popularity of PCs and smartphones. However, there has been talks of relaxing the restrictions of game console sales in China like the Microsoft Xbox in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. This will likely happen next month.
The board chairman of the joint venture will be chosen by BesTV and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.