From Virtual China Blog:
Tencent, QQ.com‘s parent company, is being sued by an angry user for impersonating a friend and getting him to link through to a contest site. Damages sought: 40,000 Q coins, and 445 5-digit QQ numbers (see previous post on the value of QQ numbers). Is this the first time that a court of law has been asked to award virtual currency in a settlement? It all points to the way that Q coins are increasingly being used as an alternative to the RMB for online economic transactions. It makes sense, given that a) so few Chinese have credit cards with which to pay for online goods and services; b) the vast majority DO have QQ accounts and Q coins with which to purchase online goods and services; and c) You can accumulate Q coins by playing online QQ games.
A 12/29 article in China’s International Finance News reports that Tencent itself is suspected by some users of instigating Q coin robbery schemes. According to a QQ user quoted in the piece, “Nearly every QQ user has felt the pain of having their QQ number and QQ coins stolen.” “Little Wang” had 3265.15 Q coins in his QQ account, earned from playing a QQ game. He was just about to buy a new suit of clothing for his QQ avatar, when he discovered his account only contained 265.15 Q coins. He contacted Tencent directly, but in the meantime was robbed again and left with ony 5.15 Q coins. The company told him that they wouldn’t do anything for him until he reported the theft to the police. Wang goes on to say that from what he’s seen in the QQ BBS forums on Q coin theft, other users have had the same experience as him–Tencent doesn’t do anything but offer tips on how to protect themselves from further theft, and doesn’t reimburse them.[Full Text]
-Also read Virtual money poses a real threat from China Daily