Chinese online game operator The9 Limited is likely to take over
a 50 percent stake in MSN China from the state-owned Shanghai
The9 will sign a US$100-million contract with Shanghai Alliance
Investment, sources told Shanghai Daily today.
Microsoft and Shanghai Alliance Investment set up the 50-50
joint venture MSN China in May, 2005. However, rumors surfaced this
month that Alliance Investment plans to sell its stake in the
About 11 million people use MSN's instant messaging service in
China, making it the second most popular messaging system in the
country behind QQ.
The9 is the domestic operator of the World of Warcraft (WoW),
the world's most popular online game. It has attracted more than
3.8 million players in China since it was launched nationwide two
WoW is the major revenue source of The9, whose earnings dropped
40 percent in the second-quarter of this year.
In May, Nasdaq-listed Electronic Arts bought a 15 percent stake
(Shanghai Daily September 27, 2007)