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Rumor: China's The9 may lose licensing rights to World of Warcraft

James Egan

The9 is the licensed operator for World of Warcraft in China, the most popular Western MMO running in Asia. However, The9 is facing new censorship and regulatory issues which have thus far prevented the Wrath of the Lich King expansion from launching in China. These restrictions imposed upon online games operating in mainland China by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) are not the only issue affecting World of Warcraft's success in the country.

To make things worse, it's now rumored that their licensing deal with Blizzard may be shaky. Our sister site WoW Insider has mentioned (unverified) reports that The9 might be on the outs with Blizzard, citing a Xinhua news agency story. The9 declined to make a comment to WoW Insider, stating only that they're still in negotiations with Blizzard Entertainment. With their current licensing agreement due to expire this summer, we suspect it won't be long before the situation is resolved, one way or the other.

One of Azeroth's millions of citizens? Check out our ongoing coverage of the World of Warcraft, and be sure to touch base with our sister site WoW Insider for all your Lich King needs!

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