World Of Warcraft "Lacks Approval" To Operate In China [Update]

Courtesy of some alleged "gross violations" of national regulations, China's General Administration of Press and Publication have ordered that World of Warcraft be suspended in the country.

According to a report on Reuters, NetEase - the company operating the game in China for publishers Activision Blizzard - have been ordered to "stop operating" the title, cease charging existing user's accounts and block any new account registrations.

The GAPP claim that because of these supposed violations, the game lacks the necessary approval required to be run under China's increasingly strict laws governing online video games.

This move is the latest blow in an ongoing struggle between the GAAP and the Chinese Ministry of Culture, which was behind last month's bluster over foreign investment in Chinese online gaming firms.

Indeed, things are so messy between the two that it's unclear whether the GAPP's actions will even be enforced, with reports emerging that NetEase haven't even been contacted by the GAPP, and that the Ministry of Culture have labelled the threats inappropriate.

NetEase, Activision caught up in China turf war [Reuters]
'World of Warcraft' Faces Goverment Crackdown In China [MTV]

UPDATE - Yup, appears this is more to do with a conflict between Chinese government bodies than the game itself. Reuters report that the MoC have said the GAPP "oversteps its authority" in shutting the game down, along with a clarification that it's only expansion Burning Crusade that's affected, not the core game itself.