Coming days after word that NetEase.com was illegally running its World of Warcraft game, China's Ministry of Culture has issued a circular which exposes 188 computer games companies for illegal operations.
These 188 companies were said to be the seventh batch of illegal games operators ever exposed by China's Ministry of Culture.
Among the 188 companies, 14, including Haikou Dongwang Xianfeng Network Company, were said to be promoting their network games products in a vulgar manner. Eight more companies including Beijing Tang'ai Shikong Network Company were involved in spreading computer games products that contain vulgar information, gambling and violence. Forty-eight companies including Shanghai Yingsi Software Company, ran Internet content without approval.
Five companies including Tianjin Fengyun Network Company operated imported Internet cultural products without approval of the Ministry of Culture; 30 websites including Yongheng Zhita illegally provided private servers for computer games operators; 30 companies including Computer Game Auxiliary Tool Downloading website illegally offered external computer games; and 53 companies including Guangzhou Huaduo Network Company did not register their computer games products as required.
Various administrative penalties are pending against these 188 companies.
Separately, posted earlier this week on the website of the General Administration of Press and Publication, the agency responsible for licensing and administering online games in China, was an official statement that asks Shanghai EaseNet Network Technology Limited, NetEase.com's affiliate, to stop charging fees to World of Warcraft game players. The game is allegedly not being operated with proper approval, and GAPP is evaluating whether to impose administrative penalties on Shanghai EaseNet.
In a company statement, NetEase.com professes that neither it nor Shanghai EaseNet has been officially notified of GAPP's determination of any penalties. The company states it believes it and EaseNet are in full compliance with Chinese laws and they are currently seeking clarification from Chinese authorities regarding this statement by GAPP.