• United States



by Dave Gradijan

China Fines Man for Stealing, Selling Virtual Property

Apr 03, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Yan Yifan, of southern China’s Guangdong, has been convicted and fined for theft of virtual property, The Register reports.

Yifan was an avid fan of the online game Dahua Xiyou since 2002, but temptation proved too much for the man two years later when he got himself a temporary position at the game’s publisher, NetEase, according to The Register.

Yifan altered 30 existing accounts by creating fake identification cards and having passwords changed, and he eventually offered up online identities that weren’t his for sale, as well as the equipment associated with those accounts, The Register reports.

After first being convicted in 2005, Yifan appealed the ruling, claiming that virtual property should not be protected by existing laws, The Register reports. However, the second court found that since players of the online game had dedicated time, effort and money toward the virtual equipment and Yifan profited from the sale of it, the virtual material did deserve protection under the law, according to The Register.

The man received a fine of 5,000 yuan (roughly US$625), The Register reports.

A number of Chinese attorneys predict the case could result in the creation of “virtual property rights,” according to The Register.

For related CSO content, read Faked in China.

For related news coverage, read China Shuts Down Website Selling Counterfeit Goods and China Ticketing Firm Takes on Fakes.

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