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Best Buy Exiting China

Minneapolis — Best Buy’s ill-fated foray into China is coming to a close.

The company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its 184-store chain of Five Star CE and appliance shops to a China-based real estate firm.

Best Buy bought a majority interest in the business in 2006 for $180 million, marking its entry into the Chinese retail market. That same year it also opened the first of nine Best Buy-branded stores, which were shuttered in 2011.

Indeed, the company’s global expansion strategy, launched under prior management teams, has met with mixed success, and current president/CEO Hubert Joly has rationalized overseas operations — including its 50 percent interest in Best Buy Europe — to focus on the core U.S. business.

In a statement, Joly said the China sale has no bearing on Best Buy’s remaining Canada and Mexico businesses, nor will it affect the company’s private-label operations in China, where its Dynex, Insignia, Modal, Platinum and Rocketfish house brands are sourced.

“We will … continue to invest in and grow our China-based private-label operations,” he said.