Software giant Microsoft Corp is looking for a partner in China to help the company play a major role in China's internet search market, Wall Street Journal said.

Simon Leung, Microsoft's Chief Executive for greater China, told the Journal in an interview that the company plans to invest about $100 million in Chinese companies.

Leung told the paper that Microsoft will target companies in sectors including software, cloud computing and possibly even gaming.

However, Leung declined to comment on the timing of those investments, the Journal said.

Microsoft is also seeking approval from the Chinese government to sell its Xbox videogame console in China, Leung told the Journal.

Leung did not name any possible internet search joint venture partner, the newspaper said.

Definitely, our goal is to be No. 1 in the market as measured by the amount of searches handled, Leung told the Journal.

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Hans Peters)