Microsoft has not been able to sell the Xbox 360 in China thanks to China's Ministry of Culture edict
, but that may be about to change.
The regulatory edict, issued in the year 2000, prohibits sales of video game consoles and accessories in the country by any company or individual. Prompted by parental fears of youth spending too much time playing video games, it's prohibited consoles like the Xbox 360 from addressing the market in China -- which has, as a result of the ban, flourished on the booming online game business.
According to a report in China Trade Information
, a key Microsoft China official commented during a recent game forum that the company is working with a Chinese regulator in hopes of bringing the Xbox 360 to China.
Zhang Yaqin, Microsoft's corporate vice president, commented on the possibility of the console's sale in China to Shanghai Daily
during the China Digital Entertainment Summit Forum, saying there is no current timetable for a launch because all decisions rest on the approval of several government bureaus.
Zhang also said that overseas sales of Xbox consoles have reached over 40 million units. Microsoft products are currently manufactured on the mainland and garner $4 billion in annual export profits.
Nintendo has also indicated its intent to sell the Wii in China, although it is not legally available there as of yet. In the meantime, the console gray market in China is still going strong, showing 2-3 million units sold as of 2009. The only legally distributed console available in China is the iQue, which was based on Nintendo 64 hardware and was released in 2003.