Last year China banned the sale of virtual currency in an effort to
shut down "gold farmers" — businesses that hire young Chinese to play
video games all day and sell the proceeds (in the form of game currency
or magic items) on eBay (EBAY) or online.
The Chinese government did nothing to enforce its own ban, so it
remains to be seen whether Beijing follows up with its latest edict:
Gamers who sell virtual goods for a profit will be taxed at 20% of the
proceeds, the same rate applied to profits on real estate or other
In December 2005 the New York Times estimated 100,000 Chinese were employed full-time
in the gold farming industry, and consulting group iResearch says the
virtual currency trade is a $1.4 billion dollar industry growing at 15
to 20% a year.
Here is the story and thanks to Alex Rosen for the pointer.