09 November 2009

CN - Chinese Agencies Struggle Over Video Game

(New York Times)
The virtual World of Warcraft game is the subject of a regulatory dispute in China, where such games are big business. The background: the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication ordered the Shanghai-based operator of World of Warcraft, NetEase, to shut down its servers for World of Warcraft. The agency said that it had rejected the company's application to become the new host of the game's four million Chinese players. But the Ministry of Culture had struck back. "In regards to the World of Warcraft incident, the General Administration of Press and Publication has clearly overstepped its authority," a ministry official was quoted as saying "They do not have the authority to penalize online gaming." The ministry said it had that authority. And it said NetEase was perfectly free to offer the game on computers in China. The matter now appears destined for settlement by the State Council, the Chinese government’s cabinet.