According to some insiders, a report reveald that WTO has ruled an arbitration in favor the United States, saying that China's practice of importing and publishing audio-visuals, books and magazines of the United States only through designated agent is against WTO rules and regulations. Details of the arbitration will only be released on August 12th, 2009. However, once the arbitration becomes reality, the joint venture established by NetEase and Blizzard will be no longer against the rules, or Blizzard may withdraw the operating rights of WoW China from NetEase to sell the wow cd key itself. As for the reason why WoW has been long delayed in government approval, some medias and players speculate that it might have something to do with NetEase, EasyNet (an affiliated enterprise of NetEase), Blizzard, and StormNet. Some media even revealed that GAPP (General Administration of Press and Publication of the People's Republic of China) has initiated the investigation into whether StormNet, the joint venture of NetEase and Blizzard, has taken part in the operation of WoW in a disguised form, which violates GAPP's regulation about "prohibiting joint ventures from publishing and operating online games".

Some insiders revealed on the blog that the three-people arbitration panel of WTO has submitted the final arbitration to both China and the United States last weekend after two weeks of investigation and hearing. The content of the arbitration is confidential at this moment and is scheduled to be released on August 12. However, according to US Medias, WTO has ruled that the United States wins the case and considers China's practice of importing audio-visuals, books and magazines of the United States only through designated agent goes against WTO rules and regulations. For example, WTO thinks the regulation of Chinese government that the operation and sale of magazines and video games from the United States can only be done through Chinese companies violates Business Principles.

Once the arbitration takes effect, whether StormNet plays a role in the operation of WoW will be no longer a problem, or because of which reason, Blizzard may even directly withdraw the operating rights to operate on its own. Chen Xiaowei, the CEO of The9, ever pointed out on the ChinaJoy forum that during the beginning stage of the negotiation between The9 and Blizzard, Blizzard wished a joint venture to be established to operate WoW. The industry too, has a common understanding that whether a joint venture can be established in order for Blizzard to actually control the operation and acquire high returns by integrating the supply chain of online games has been the key criteria for Blizzard to choose publisher, from which we can infer that Blizzard may withdraw its operating rights in China, after all deal the business itself (sell the World of Warcraft CD Key or other related product without middleman) will gain more profit. )  if the news about the arbitration is genuine.

 


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