China Bans Foreign Investment In Online Gaming [Update]

The General Administration of Press and Publication, China's video game industry regulator, is now prohibiting foreign investment in domestic online gaming, reports Reuters. This comes as China's online gamine sales are expected to increase 30 - 50 percent in 2009.

This new decision also prevents foreign companies from indirectly influencing Chinese gaming companies through tech support or agreements.

Earlier this year, Chinese game dev NetEase.com was awarded the license to operate World of Warcraft within China. The country's regulators have had concerns about the the joint venture in which NetEase is supported by Blizzard's tech support.

Update: According to George Godula The Next Web.com, the original Reuters story is incorrect and China is not banning foreign investment. Read the nitty-gritty here.

China bans foreign investment in online games industry [Reuters via Joystiq] [Pic]