Home>News Center>China

Gamer slays rival after online dispute
By Cao Li and Jiao Xiaoyang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-30 00:12

A Shanghai online game player murdered a competitor who he claimed sold his cyperweapon, a court was told Tuesday.

Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court Tuesday heard Qiu Chengwei, 41, allegedly stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after he was told Zhu had sold his Dragon Sabre used in the popular online game, Legend of Mir III.

Qiu and a friend jointly won the weapon last February, and lent it to Zhu who then sold it for 7,200 yuan (US$871).

Qui went to the police to report the "theft" but was told the weapon was not counted a real property protected by law.

Zhu promised to handover the cash but an angry Qui lost patience and attacked Zhu at his home, stabbing him in the left chest "with great force," and killing him, the court was told.

Qui gave himself up to police and on the advice of his lawyer, has pleaded guilty to intentional injury, claiming he never meant to kill Zhu.

However, the court's prosecutor told the court: "As cyberweapon is not under the protection of any law in our country, Zhu was faultless in this case."

The court has yet to issue its verdict, but either charge can result in capital punishment under China's Criminal Law.

Qiu has a chance to appeal to the city's higher court for a second trail, which will be conclusive.

The case has caused a legal dilemma in China where no law exists for the ownership of Internet gaming weapons.

In November 2003, a 23-year-old player from North China's Hebei Province sued Beijing-based Internet game provider Arctic Ice Technology, after he found all the weapons and points he amassed for months playing the company's game Red Moon were stolen.

It was the first time in China where disputes over virtual assets in an online game were handed to the court.

Now more and more gamers are seeking justice through the courts over stolen weapons and credits.

"The armours and swords in games should be deemed as private property as players have to spend money and time for them," said Wang Zongyu, an associate professor at the law school of Beijing's Renmin University of China.

"These virtual objects are often tradable among players," he added.

But other experts are calling for caution.

"The `assets' of one player could mean nothing to others as they are by nature just data created by game providers," said a lawyer for a Shanghai-based Internet game company.

Online game companies in Shanghai -- the city with the most players -- are planning to set up a dispute system where aggrieved players can find recourse.

Shang Jiangang, a lawyer with the newly established Shanghai Online Game Association, said: "The association has drafted some measures to facilitate the settlement of disputes over virtual assets."

He added: "Once any cyberweapon stealing occurs, players can report to the operator, which will then sort it out according to the circumstances."

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Indonesian VP: Quake may kill up to 2,000



KMT leader pays respect to martyrs



China's shares hit 6-year low



Woman takes helm of State forex office



Vietnam family of 5 confirmed with bird flu



Scientists honoured at State awards


  Scientists honoured at State awards
  KMT leader in Guangzhou for historic visit
  Shanghai chosen most livable city
  Bad habits anger Beijing residents
  Police bust human trafficking gangsters
  Agency ruled liable for death of traveller
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Sales of online game hits US$298m in 2004
Online game operator in the money
Teenage Internet addict commits suicide
Online game operator makes robust debut
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008