Financial Technology

NetEase Announces Non-Renewal of Licenses with Blizzard

HANGZHOU, China, Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES and HKEX: 9999, “NetEase” or the “Company”), one of China’s leading internet and online game services providers, today announced that it anticipates that its licenses covering the publication of several titles of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. in China will expire in accordance with their terms on January 23, 2023 and will not be renewed.  The affected games are World of Warcraft®, the StarCraft® series, Hearthstone®, Heroes of the Storm®, Overwatch® and Diablo III®.

“We have put in a great deal of effort and tried with our utmost sincerity to negotiate with Activision Blizzard so that we could continue our collaboration and serve the many dedicated players in China. However, there were material differences on key terms and we could not reach an agreement. We hold high regard in our product and operational standards and abide by our commitments to Chinese players.

“We are honored to have had the privilege of serving our gamers over the past 14 years and have shared many precious moments with them during that time. We will continue our promise to serve our players well until the last minute. We will make sure our players’ data and assets are well protected in all of our games,” said William Ding, CEO of NetEase.

The net revenues and net income contribution from these licensed Blizzard games represented low single digits as a percentage of NetEase’s total net revenues and net income in 2021 and in the first nine months of 2022. The expiration of such licenses will have no material impact on NetEase’s financial results. The co-development and publishing of Diablo® Immortal™ is covered by a separate long-term agreement and will continue.

About NetEase, Inc.

As a leading internet technology company based in China, NetEase, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES and HKEX:9999, “NetEase”) provides premium online services centered around content creation. With extensive offerings across its expanding gaming ecosystem, the Company develops and operates some of China’s most popular and longest running mobile and PC games. Powered by industry-leading in-house R&D capabilities in China and globally, NetEase creates superior gaming experiences, inspires players, and passionately delivers value for its thriving community worldwide. By infusing play with culture and education with technology, NetEase transforms gaming into a meaningful vehicle to build a more entertaining and enlightened world.

Beyond games, NetEase service offerings include its majority-controlled subsidiaries Youdao (NYSE: DAO), China’s leading technology-focused intelligent learning company, and Cloud Music (HKEX: 9899), China’s leading online music content community, as well as Yanxuan, NetEase’s private label consumer lifestyle brand.

NetEase’s ESG initiatives are among the best in the global media and entertainment industry, earning it a distinction as one of the S&P Global Industry Movers and an “A” rating from MSCI. For more information, please visit: http://ir.netease.com/.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement contains statements of a forward-looking nature. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates” and similar statements. In addition, statements that are not historical facts, including statements about NetEase’s strategies and business plans, its expectations regarding the growth of its business and its revenue and the quotations from management in this announcement are or contain forward-looking statements. NetEase may also make forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), in announcements made on the website of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (the “Hong Kong Stock Exchange”), in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. The accuracy of these statements may be impacted by a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated, including risks related to: the risk that the online game market will not continue to grow or that NetEase will not be able to maintain its position in that market in China or globally; the risk that COVID-19 or other health risks in China or globally could adversely affect the Company’s operations or financial results; risks associated with NetEase’s business and operating strategies and its ability to implement such strategies; NetEase’s ability to develop and manage its operations and business; competition for, among other things, capital, technology and skilled personnel; potential changes in government regulation that could adversely affect the industry and geographical markets in which NetEase operates, including, among others, initiatives to enhance supervision of companies listed on an overseas stock exchange and tighten scrutiny over data privacy and data security, as well as the risk that NetEase’s ADSs could be barred from trading in the United States as a result of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act and the rules promulgated thereunder; the risk that NetEase may not be able to continuously develop new and creative online services or that NetEase will not be able to set, or follow in a timely manner, trends in the market; competition in NetEase’s existing and potential markets; and the risk that fluctuations in the value of the Renminbi with respect to other currencies could adversely affect NetEase’s business and financial results. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in NetEase’s filings with the SEC and announcements on the website of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. NetEase does not undertake any obligation to update this forward-looking information, except as required under the applicable law.  

Contact for Media and Investors:

Margaret Shi
Email: [email protected]
Tel: (+86) 571-8985-3378
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NetEase_Global

SOURCE NetEase, Inc.

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