JD.com Inc (NASDAQ:JD), China’s second largest e-commerce company, is working with Tencent Holdings Ltd (HKG:0700) to offer pre-orders for Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One gaming consoles to a certain group of customers in China from Monday through Wednesday.
Beijing-based JD.com announced Monday that users of Tencent’s WeChat -- known as Weixin in China --and Mobile QQ messaging services would be able to place advance orders for the new Xbox One console by paying a deposit of 499 yuan (about $81), before the company begins taking pre-orders from other Chinese consumers on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that JD.com did not disclose a price for the new console, which costs about $500 in the U.S.
“Launching Xbox One sales in China through JD.com's Weixin and Mobile QQ entry points underscores the strength of these platforms with young and sophisticated Chinese consumers,” Shuang Du, a JD.com vice president, told the Journal.
The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be sold in mainland China since the government banned the sales of video game consoles, including Xbox, Sony Corp's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation and Nintendo Co. Ltd’s (TYO:7974) Wii, in 2000, arguing that video games adversely affect users' mental health.
On Friday, China Telecom, the country's largest fixed-line service and the third-largest mobile telecommunication provider, announced that it would begin selling the Xbox One in September. The carrier said that it would be the exclusive carrier partner of the new Xbox in China and consumers will have to sign up for the company’s broadband subscription contract “to enjoy the games and entertainment experience at home.”
Although the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were launched around the same time, Microsoft’s console has trailed the sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 worldwide.
PlayStation's Twitter account recently announced that the device was the top-selling next-generation console in the U.S. for June, marking the sixth consecutive month the device has grabbed the top spot.
Breaking news: PS4 is #1 top-selling US next-gen console in June, 6th month in a row. Thanks for your support! <3 pic.twitter.com/r5bTKg4wYf
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 17, 2014