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Virtual Currency Threatens Chinese Economy

Shacknews reports: Scattered reports indicate that an online currency, known as the QQ coin, may be having an adverse effect on the Chinese economy and official state currency.

Part of Tencent's popular instant messaging client QQ, which is said to have over 317.9 million active accounts, each QQ coin sells for roughly one yuan and is supposed to be used to purchase virtual items for online avatars and pets.

However, the massive popularity of the QQ chat program seems to have expanded the worth of the QQ coin beyond its original scope. In 2007, Wall Street Journal reported that retailers were accepting the QQ coin in return for real-world merchandise, and that so-called "QQ Girls" were accepting the coins as payment for intimate private chats.

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