China Telecom to offer Microsoft console to broadband customers

China Telecom has announced an exclusive deal with Microsoft to sell the company’s Xbox One gaming console in the country.

Gaming consoles were banned by the government in China in 2000, due to perceived risks to mental health, but China Telecom has been allowed to strike the agreement to offer the console exclusively to its 30 million broadband subscribers.

The move represents the increasing convergence between telecoms and the multimedia sector, with online gaming now requiring high-bandwidth connectivity.

Microsoft has made attempts to expand its reach in the Chinese market, and in September last year it signed an agreement with Chinese set-top box vendor BesTV New Media to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai’s free trade zone.