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Report: Best Buy contemplating sale of Chinese business

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Best Buy is considering options for the future its Chinese business, which include selling outright or finding a partner.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the financial publication said that the electronics giant is "working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch on its options."

Richfield-based Best Buy entered the Chinese market in 2006 and currently has 190 stores across China, operating under the names Five Star and Best Buy Mobile. Preliminary estimates suggest the Chinese business could be worth around $300 million

When the Business Journal quizzed Best Buy about the story, a spokesman replied in an e-mail that the company doesn't comment on speculation.

Best Buy operates stores in the U.S., Canada, China and Mexico. Best Buy recently singled out tough online competition in China for declining sales in its international division, which hurt the rest of the chain's performance. RTT News pointed out that while China is regarded as the world's largest and fastest-growing consumer market, Best Buy and other overseas retailers who opened shop there have been struggling against strong local competition.

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