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Real ban on virtual cash

CHINA has banned the use of virtual currency in the trade of real goods and services to limit its impact on the financial system.

"Virtual currency, which is converted into real money, will only be allowed to trade in virtual goods and services provided by its issuer, not real goods and services," according to a joint circular from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

The government also defined virtual currency for the first time and said it includes prepaid cards for cyber-games.

China has the world's largest population of Internet users, with 298 million people online as of the end of last year.

According to reports, virtual money trades topped several billion yuan last year after rising about 20 percent annually.

Under the new rules, people will be punished for gambling with virtual cash, and minors can not buy virtual money.


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