China stands by verdict on virtual property thief

By Derek Sooman on
A man who stole and sold players' games IDs and online equipment has had his guilty verdict and fine upheld by a court in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of China's southern province of Guangdong. Yan Yifan, 20, was found guilty of selling stolen passwords and online equipment from 30 players of the online historical quest game, "Da Xihua Xiyou" in 2005. He was fined 5,000 yuan ($620). The court agreed that online game players had spent time, energy and money gaining the game's equipment and adding value to the virtual goods, and so the fine was valid. The case highlights the growing calls for more concrete virtual property laws.

Yan stole players' personal information while working at U.S.-listed Chinese Internet company NetEase.com Inc. and sold counterfeited identity cards and other online possessions to other players for over 4,000 yuan ($500).

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