Sony partners with Chinese state-owned company to sell PlayStation consoles after ban ends

HONG KONG – Sony is joining forces with a state-owned Chinese company to make and sell PlayStations and games in China after the country dropped a longstanding ban on video game consoles.

In a filing Monday with the Shanghai stock exchange, Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) Co. said it signed a deal with the Japanese electronics giant.

Under the agreement, Sony Corp. and Oriental Pearl will set up two joint venture companies in Shanghai’s new free trade zone. Sony will have a 49 per cent stake in one company and a 70 per cent stake in the other.

Sony and rival Microsoft are scrambling to enter the market after Beijing in January ended the ban on game consoles, in place since 2000. Relaxations on video game consoles were among the raft of looser controls on investment promised when Shanghai inaugurated its free trade zone in September.

In April, Microsoft said it was partnering with BesTV New Media to sell Xbox One consoles in China.