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China legislates 20% tax rate on virtual currency profits

James Egan

While much of the world's gold farming activity is based in mainland China, the black market industry operates in violation of the law. Despite this, a large part of the problem in curbing illegal activities in China is that there's a substantial divide between what the law states is illegal and the actual enforcement of those laws. This may well be the case with the law passed last week by China's State Administration of Taxation, which will impose a personal income tax rate of 20% on profits made from virtual currency.

Juliet Ye at The Wall Street Journal's "China Journal" blog reports: "The policy would cover China's legions of online gamers, who can use online virtual currency to buy better equipment and new powers for their online warriors. But it also affects millions of others who use virtual currencies on instant-messaging services and Web portals." The widespread use of virtual currencies in China spurred last year's restrictions on exchanging virtual currency into RMB. If the new law becomes a reality rather than a technicality in the lives of China's internet users, it will be a substantial change in virtual economics in the country.

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