reported the rumor that it looked like Chinese World of Warcraft operator The9 might be losing the licensing rights to a competitor, and today we can confirm that rumor to be 100% true. Rival company NetEase has purchased the rights to operate World of Warcraft in China, starting once The9's current contract is up with Blizzard on June 8th.
NetEase is already the operator of Battle.net in China, supporting Warcraft III and the to-be-released Starcraft II. They have been operating with Blizzard since last August, when they acquired all of the rights to the other Blizzard games. This acquisition only brings NetEase and Blizzard closer together in their business arrangement.
What is still up in the air, however, is the fate of Wrath of the Lich King. DoNews, a Chinese news site, has reported that Wrath has been licensed by NetEase, although no formal announcement has yet been made.
[Via JLM Pacific Epoch]