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Xbox One to be China's first console release since 2000

The first games console to be released in mainland China since 2000 will arrive this September.

China Telecom, the country's third largest telecommunications company, revealed in a statement this week that they have been granted an exclusive contract to sell Microsoft's Xbox One console.

Read more: China allows shipments of foreign games consoles for the first time (opens in new tab)

China Telecom spokesman Ivan Wong said in a telephone interview with Reuters that the launch date and price had not yet been finalised.

The Chinese government banned console sales back in 2000, citing games' effects on mental health.

However in September last year, Microsoft reached a deal with Chinese set-top box maker BesTV New Media to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone.

While the Xbox One is trailing Sony's Playstation 4 in terms of worldwide sales, Microsoft will be hoping that the China release will provide a boost to its figures.

The company has also begun selling the console without the Kinect motion sensor peripheral for £349 in the UK in order to compete directly with the Playstation 4's lower price point.

Read more: The reasons why the Xbox One fails (opens in new tab)

Microsoft's will also be hoping that the latest deal provides an upturn in fortunes for the firm in the Asian market. After its previous console, the Xbox 360, sold poorly in the region, the US company delayed the release of the Xbox One in Asia by 12 months.

Barclay Ballard
Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.