Microsoft sells MSN China portal, after announcing plans to shutter it

Microsoft is selling its MSN China portal to a company headed by the former general manager of that portal for an undisclosed amount.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has sold MSN China to Xichuang Technology, a company co-founded late last year by MSN China's former general manager.


That report comes from Ciaxin.com, which said that Microsoft announced the agreement to sell MSN China on the company's official blog on Aug. 29, though the actual transaction was effective on Aug. 10. The report said no financial terms were disclosed, "though Microsoft said the two sides will continue to work closely together".

I asked Microsoft officials if the report on Microsoft selling MSN China is correct, as I didn't see it on the Official Microsoft blog. A Microsoft spokesperson pointed me to the Aug. 29 announcement on the Microsoft China blog, confirming the Ciaxin.com report.

In May of this year, Microsoft officials said Microsoft planned to shutter the company's MSN China portal, and that MSN China would cease operations on June 7. After that date, Microsoft execs said, visitors to cn.msn.com would see a directory page of Chinese websites, along with a Bing search bar.

In May, when the news was announced, Microsoft officials offered no explanation for the MSN closure.

In June this year, Microsoft signed a patent acquisition and licensing deal with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi involving 1,500 Microsoft patents.

Last fall, Microsoft announced a deal with Baidu, via which Baidu.com would become the default home page and search engine on Windows 10's Edge browser for Chinese customers.

Chinese regulators have been investigating Microsoft for alleged anti-monopoly operations involving Windows and Office for the past several years.

Here's the text from the Microsoft Aug. 29 press release announcing the MSN Online (MSN China) sale, provided to me by the aforementioned Microsoft spokesperson:

XiChuang Technology (Beijing) Co. Ltd (;XiChuang') today announced, in collaboration with Microsoft, that in order to be more flexible and agile to meet the local domestic market needs and to continue creating value for their respective shareholders and employees, the companies have entered into a management buyout (MBO) agreement for XiChuang to acquire full equity of Microsoft Online Network Communications Technology (Shanghai) Company Limited ("Microsoft Online"), effective on August 10. Anderson Liu, former General Manager of Microsoft Online, is the CEO of XiChuang.
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