Days after Chinese online game developer and operator The9's president announced her departure from the helm of the company, the company has now gone ahead with plans for expansion with the acquisition of an American company.

The9 and the U.S.-based online game developer Red 5 Studios have jointly announced that they have reached an agreement, under which The9 will invest USD20 million to acquire a majority stake in Red 5 Studios.

Chen Xiaowei's employment contract as president of The9 expires on May 16, 2010, and the company's chairman and CEO, Zhu Jun, will assume Chen's duties as president of the company after this date. The company made the announcement last week. Chen was previously a television anchor in China at CCTV-9, the official English-language channel in the country, and ran China.com — a Web portal owned by CDC Corporation.

Zhu Jun, chairman and CEO of The9, said that Red 5 is a creator of innovative entertainment software, designing games that focus on ease of play and fun. With the acquisition, The9's global strategy is beginning to take shape. It will further enhance the company's game development capability and diversify its game portfolio and pipeline. He believes the cooperation will bring new and exciting entertainment content for people around the world.

Mark Kern, CEO of Red 5 Studios, said that they are excited to welcome The9 as their key investor. The investment recognizes the hard work of the Red 5 team and their ability to become a multi-game studio in the future. Combining The9's outstanding expertise in the operation of online games, Red 5 Studios will have a great advantage in bringing its games to gamers around the world.

Red 5 Studios is an online game developer located in California, formed in 2006 by former executives and developers from Blizzard Entertainment. Red 5 Studios is dedicated to bringing together millions of gamers across the world by creating worlds, intriguing stories, and compelling characters.

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