World of Online-Game-Regulation Warcraft

The turf battle between two Chinese bureaucracies appears to be escalating, with NetEase and the World of Warcraft videogame at its center.

According to a statement, China’s General Administration of Press and Publications said it rejected NetEase’s application to operate Burning Crusades, the latest version of World of Warcraft. NetEase acquired the license to the popular game after Activision Blizzard (ATVI) dropped its previous China licensee, The9.

The regulator demanded, however, that NetEase stop taking payments and registering new game accounts, or else face punishment that includes “suspension of its Internet service.”

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