Fourteen Chinese government ministries including the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Information Industry have jointly issued a circular, requiring that no new netcafes be added in China this year and no virtual coins can be used to buy tangible goods.
According to the circular called "Notice on Further Strengthening Netcafe and Computer Game Management", netcafes must not admit teenagers; netcafes who have been found to have allowed teenagers for a second time since October 18, 2004 shall be asked to close for no less than 15 days for renovation and pay an unstated fine; netcafes who have admitted teenagers for the third time since then shall have their business license revoked; and companies that provide Internet access to illegal netcafes shall be fined up to CNY500,000. In addition, the circular forbids new netcafes to be opened this year.
Apart from emphasizing netcafe operation, the circular also attaches importance to the regulation of computer games, saying that efforts must be made to limit the issuance of virtual coins and the purchase of tangible goods with virtual coins so as to prevent virtual money from affecting the real-world financial system.
At present, there are more than ten types of virtual coins circulating in China.