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China tech

World of Warcraft maker Activision cuts ties with China's NetEase

Chinese group's shares plunge on news of games license deal ending

World of Warcraft maker Activision Blizzard had a longtime deal with NetEase for its games to be played in China (File photo by Reuters)   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Shares of Chinese gaming company NetEase slid as much as 14% Thursday on news that its tie-up with U.S.-based Blizzard Entertainment is ending, with sources saying the deal fell apart over an intellectual property and data-control spat.

World of Warcraft creator Blizzard said it would no longer offer the popular title and other games, including Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo III, in China after its 14-year licensing deal with NetEase ends in late January. Mobile role-playing game Diablo Immortal will still be available under a different agreement.

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