Reuters reports that Netease, the company that operates WoW in China, has stopped accepting new accounts and has reapplied to GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publication) for permission to release The Burning Crusade. The article does not mention if this was voluntary, or if this was part of the ruling that was scheduled to be handed down in January.
For those unfamiliar with this story, Netease was told to cease WoW operations last year by GAPP and the Chinese Ministry of Culture stepped in and contradicted the ruling. Netease has continued taking new accounts until now, while waiting for the decision of these governmental bodies. Assuming Netease can finally get approval to release The Burning Crusade, they will still need to apply for permission to release Wrath of the Lich King. At this rate, the rest of the world will get Cataclysm before mainland China sees Northrend.
The timing of this is unfortunate, considering that Lunar Festival begins next week. Lunar Festival is based on Chinese New Year.
We'll keep you posted as this seemingly never-ending drama continues.