According to informed sources, Chinese online game developer and operator The9 (Nasdaq: NCTY) has completed an acquisition worth nearly RMB 100 mln. The9 has not as of yet confirmed this information.
A source close to the situation said that The9 felt that the purchase of the company would impact its 2010 financials, and The9 chairman Zhu Jun flew to Hangzhou to complete the purchase in person.
The source said that The9 had long been in discussions with a Hangzhou-based R&D company, and The9 CEO Chen Xiaowei has previously stated publicly that the two companies had begun cooperation on an MMORPG product.
Editor's Note: According to reports from Sohu IT, an industry source has revealed that the company acquired is Hangzhou Firerain Network Technology. According to the company's posted employment materials, the company already describes itself as belonging to The9. In its written self-description, Firerain also states that, "Hangzhou Firerain Network Technology is a game development subsidiary established in Hangzhou by well-known listed gaming company The9, and is located in the Hangzhou Animation Industry Base."
Firerain president Ning Zihai previously founded Hangzhou Tianchang Network Technology, and after Tianchang's acquisition by Hong Kong's Finet Group, Ning led the entire team to leave the company and start Firerain.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "The9 Invests in Hangzhou R&D Team" MD 1/20/10 issue.