Ground Breaking Rules Governing Online Games


Statistics from China Internet Network Information Center shows that in 2009, China's online game market reached 25.8 billion Yuan, a 39.5% increase from the previous year. Online game subscribers reached 265 million, representing a 41.5% growth. While the online game market continues to develop rapidly, a plethora of legal issues remain unsolved. In an attempt to bring clarity to this gray sector, the Ministry of Culture (the “MOC”) issued the “ Interim Measures For The Administration Of Online Games” (hereinafter referred to as the “Measures”), which for the first time systematically and clearly defines the content of online games, market players, business activities, operations, and legal responsibility.

The Measures was implemented on August 1st, 2010. It is the first Ministry-level issued rules that specifically address the administration and standardization of online games. The Measures establishes the basic principles of engaging in online game business. It defines key terms including “online games”, “network operation of online games,” and “virtual currency of online games”, and specifies rules for key topics such as “administration of online game content”, “protection of minors”, “conduct of operation”, and “virtual currency.”

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