U.S. game software developer Unity to set up China JV for expansion

Billboard ad of fantasy game "Genshin Impact" from Shanghai-based developer Mihoyo is pictured in Hong Kong, China October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Pei Li

BEIJING, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Unity Software Inc (U.N), the U.S. developer whose software is used in video games like Tencent Holdings' (0700.HK) "Honor of Kings", said on Tuesday it had struck a deal to create a joint venture with multiple partners, valued at $1 billion, from its China business.

The announcement follows an exclusive Reuters report last week that Unity was in talks to spin off its China unit to help it expand in the world's biggest games market. IDL4N2ZD0NA

Partners in the joint venture include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK), China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK), OPPO, ByteDance's Douyin Group, PCI Technology Group Co Ltd (600728.SS) and G-Bits Network Technology Xiamen Co Ltd (603444.SS), Unity said in a statement on its official WeChat account.

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The company will retain majority ownership and control of the Chinese JV, Unity said.

The JV, named Unity China, will shortly start building local custom versions of its core products for game developers and will become the exclusive distributor of Unity's products and services in China, according to the statement.

Unity entered China in 2012 and its eponymous software, known as a game engine, powers many of the country's most popular games, including miHoYo's "Genshin Impact".

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Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong and Ella Cao in Beijing; Editing by David Evans and Jan Harvey

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