I admit i don't understand chineses and China at all and i look for some enlightenment in this regard (maybe from players from China). As a dumb westerner, what i see is this:
-Blizzard values asian market a lot, for $ reasons ofc
-They move heaven and earth to adjust WoW to China's government demands
-They build an expansion aimed at the asian market, wholly chinese inspired.
-The expansion is out and WoW loses millions of subs in China.
That is very curious and, as i said, hard to understand. Is it because it takes the fantasy away playing on your homeland? Is it because pandaren are not a good association? Is it because they feel like their culture has been poorly represented, or not represented at all? Or is it for some other reason, related to unknown factors, like powerful competitors in the mmo market in China? If this, can you tell us a little more about these competitors, i'd like to know them!
Because what we see is a game made towards a market and that very game, which was doing fairly well, being massively abandoned by that same market.