Source – According to Activision’s recent investors’ conference call, the company will be deploying a new business strategy for the Call of Duty franchise in China. After the recent overwhelming reception of Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops, a new studio, Beachhead, will set up offices to further expand the game franchise in the Mainland. Call of Duty Online will be Free to Play, and as mentioned, only in China. There is currently no word about a release elsewhere. I would expect the game to hit South Korea in the future as a F2P as well though.
A personal note, the online shooter genre only hit China big time last year, hence there is a flood of online shooting games (FPS, TPS) being released in 2011 in the country. The last big news about the genre was Tencent Games getting the publishing rights for Crytek’s Warface.