Recent reports of Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase facing possible punishment for conspiring to break gaming rules in China regarding World of Warcraft are false, a spokesman from NetEase has said.

    Earlier reports claimed that NetEase and Blizzard were under investigation by Shanghai’s News and Press Bureau, appointed by China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP). The companies established a joint venture back in August 2008 to support Starcraft II, Warcraft III and Battle.net in China, but the operation of online games such as World of Warcraft domestically by a foreign company through a joint venture is prohibited.

    In response to the earlier reports, a NetEase chief has stated that the content of these reports were “seriously inaccurate” and “inconsistent with the truth”. A member of GAPP has also been quoted as saying that looking into a new operating company, which is what the joint venture is classed as, is part of standard procedure.World of Warcraft was only supposed to shut down briefly while operations switched to NetEase in June following Blizzard dropping The9 as operators, but as yet, the game is still unavailable in the country.

    Paul Younger
    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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