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China Limits Gold Farming in Continued Internet Crackdown

The Chinese government has declared that virtual currency will only be allowed to be traded for virtual goods/services, not real ones. They estimate that last year the trade of virtual currency exceeded several billion yuan (about $146 million) and would be expected to grow 20% annually.

This is expected to affect 300 million users in China and other countries currently engaged in “gold farming”. According to 2008 survey by Richard Heeks at the University of Manchester, virtual currency for real cash employs hundreds of thousands of people worldwide; generating $200 million – $1 billion annually, and that 80-85% are based in China.

Its focus is mainly on the trading of virtual currency and isn’t expected to affect the selling of virtual in-game items for real cash.

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