(Adds comment by Microsoft)
BEIJING, July 25 (Reuters) - China Telecom Corp Ltd will sell Microsoft Corp’s Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract, the country’s third-largest telecommunications company said on Friday.
The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be released in mainland China since the government banned console sales in 2000, citing games’ effects on mental health.
The price has not yet been decided, China Telecom spokesman Ivan Wong told Reuters by telephone.
Joanna Li, Microsoft’s China spokeswoman, said the console would be offered exclusively to China Telecom’s 30 million broadband customers.
“When Xbox One launches in September, in addition to the China Telecom consumer offer, it will also be available to the general public for purchase at retail,” she said via email, adding that further details about the launch would be released next week.
In September last year, Microsoft reached a deal with Chinese internet TV set-top box maker BesTV New Media Co Ltd to form a joint venture to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone.
Released in November, the Xbox One has trailed in sales to Sony Corp’s Playstation 4, which was launched around the same time.
To spur sales, Microsoft in June began selling the Xbox One without the Kinect motion sensor for $399, or $100 below the price of the full bundle. (Reporting by Paul Carsten and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Jane Baird)