China's General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) has ordered NetEase, which has been operating World of Warcraft in the region since September, to cease collecting subscription payments and signing up new players for the game immediately, calling these acts "illegal behavior." According to a report by the site JLM Pacific Epoch, the GAPP (most recently in the news for outlawing foreign investment in Chinese online gaming) has suspended its review of the game and returned NetEase's application to operate it in the country.

For its part, NetEase claims it has yet to receive any sort of official decree from GAPP. At the same time, an official from China's Ministry of Culture is said to have stated that GAPP's actions are "not appropriate." The situation now becomes one of which agency has final say, and if it's simply "shut it down," why.

We're pretty sure this isn't the kind of Cataclysm Chinese WoW fans were hoping for.

[Via WoW.com]

Source -- GAPP Halts WoW Review
Source -- GAPP Says No for the Operation of WoW in China
Source -- NeatEase statement regarding announcement by GAPP

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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