The9 Ltd was incorporated in the Cayman Islands on December 22, 1999 under the name GameNow.net Limited and were renamed The9 Limited in February 2004. It is an online game operator and developer in China. The Company offers online games including MMORPGs, MMOFPSs, web games, social games and mobile games. Its other products and services include game operating support, training and advertisement and short message services. In a typical MMORPG or MMOFPS, thousands of players play in the same game world at the same time. MMORPG and MMOFPS players can select a specific character to compete with in the game with which they develop experience and enhance game attributes, which can be carried over into the next higher game levels. MMORPGs and MMOFPSs incorporate many cutting-edge technology features, including: sophisticated 3D graphics which create captivating screen scenes; player upgrading system which allows players to attain higher game attributes with their characters as they develop experience and enhanced game capabilities over time; and instant messaging system which allows players to communicate with each other during the game and form groups with other players, thereby coordinating their game skills to achieve collective objectives. Its main competitors include: Tencent Inc. (which operates Dungeon and Fighter, Cross Fire, League of Legends and QQ Dance), Shanda Games Limited (which operates Woool, Mir II, Dragon Nest and Million Arthur), NetEase.com, Inc. (which operates Fantasy Westward Journey, Westward Journey Online II, Ghost, as well as World of Warcraft and StarCraft II), Changyou.com Limited (which operates Tian Long Ba Bu, Wartune and DDTank), Perfect World, Co. Ltd. (which operates Perfect World II, Zhu Xian, Swordsman Online and DOTA2,) and Giant Interactive Group (which operates ZT Online series, Giant Online and World of Xianxia). Its provision of online game-related content on its websites is subject to various PRC laws and regulations relating to the telecommunications industry, Internet and online gaming, and is regulated by various government authorities, including MIIT, the Ministry of Culture, GAPPRFT and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
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