China's General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) is rumored to have ordered the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication to deliver a penalty notice on October 17 to Chinese internet portal and game operator Netease's (Nasdaq: NTES) subsidiary Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology. The notice ordered Easenet, which operates World of Warcraft, to halt operations of the MMORPG within 48 hours of receipt.
Sources said the Shanghai bureau called Netease CEO William Ding after receiving orders from GAPP headquarters, summoning Ding to the bureau's offices to receive the notice. Ding reportedly declined, citing time constraints. In Netease's Q3 earnings conference call the following day, Ding made no mention of any orders to halt WoW operations.
Editor's Note: Netease released a statement calling the rumors completely untrue, and said that the company is considering taking legal action against those responsible.