China Bans Online Virtual Money Dealing for Minors

June 22 (Bloomberg)

China, the world’s biggest Internet market, said it will prohibit companies that operate platforms for online virtual-currency transactions from providing services to minors in an effort to prevent abuses.

The ban will be implemented Aug. 1, according to a Ministry of Culture statement on its website today. Online game operators that issue virtual currencies for use in their titles won’t be affected by the ban.

The Chinese government has tightened control of the Internet as the number of web users rose 29 percent last year to more than 384 million, the most of any nation. China, which prohibits pornography, gambling and content critical of the government, has blocked access to foreign websites such as that of Facebook Inc. and closed local sites. Google Inc. cited increased censorship as one reason for closing its China search site in March.

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