Chinese Internet company Netease (Nasdaq: NTES) announced the resumption of operations of World of Warcraft (WoW) in Mainland China today. Gamers around the country can now create new accounts and purchase and recharge game time credit, as Netease is continuing to use the previous incarnation's time-based payment system. Prepaid game cards for WoW are already on sale throughout China. Netease also said that time purchased but not used by gamers before the migration of the game from former operator The9 (Nasdaq: NCTY) to Netease will be applied to gamers' accounts.
In addition, preparations for the second WoW expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, are complete, and Netease will submit the expansion pack to government authorities for review as soon as possible.
Editor's Note: A report from computer news site CCW.com.cn quotes Kou Xiaowei, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication's (GAPP) Department of Technology and Digital Publishing, as saying that he was "unclear on" the resumption of WoW service, and could not respond to questions about whether or not Netease had submitted materials regarding its joint venture for review. Under applicable laws, an unauthorized resumption of WoW service by Netease would be punishable by shutting down the WoW game servers and a fine of five to ten times the revenues earned from illegal operation of the game.