While surfing the net, looking for usefull numbers I found this one, already a month old, but still news to me :
With 2,9 million registered users in alpha a 3000 PCU per server and ready to be deployed server farm to support 100 shards, Lord of the Rings Online shows potential to become a worldwide player. If the 100 shards get medium to high populated then we can expect around 1 million Chinese players / subscriptions.
This is of course speculation, but it is nice to see there is interest in another Western MMO.
Meanwhile, WoW is back fully operational since sept. 19, but there seems to be a power struggle between several Chinese government organisations, most notably the MoC and the GAPP, to gain control over the lucrative and prestigious Online Gaming sector.
The GAPP says it did not gave green light for WoW:The Burning Crusade, while the MoC did gave permission to Netease to run the game commercially.
To me it looks like the GAPP ( the ones that want to close down WoW again ) will be on the short end of the stick, as the central government gave MoC more jurisdiction and the GAPP less, concerning online games.
Either way, the biggest loss is for Netease and the Chinese WoW players, I hope for them that it will get sorted out sooner rather than later.