The Chinese government has issued a statement proclaiming that anyone caught stealing NFTs, including digital treasures like NFTs, will face criminal charges.
The theft of digital collections would be assessed with other connected acts committed during the heist, such as hacking into computer systems and data theft, according to the statement.
Because of their unique codes, non-tamperable features, and thorough transaction information, digital collectibles such as NFTs can be regarded as online virtual property, according to the new laws announced yesterday.
Given that the Chinese government outlawed all crypto-related transactions and activities in late 2021, the Chinese government referring to digital collections as “network virtual property” is a significant milestone.
“The theft of digital collections violates the protection law and interests of the crime of illegally obtaining computer information system data,” the Chinese government said in its statement. “Since property is the object of property crime, digital collections can obviously become the object of property crime. If the digital collection is stolen by intrusion into the system or other technical means, the act also damages the property law.”
According to the statement, China has not yet established a “secondary flow market” for these digital collections. Consumers can, however, continue to use trading platforms to buy, acquire, transfer, or dispose of these assets, ensuring sole ownership and control.
This year has seen an increase in civil cases involving cryptocurrency in China. Various courts have produced contradictory findings, with some confirming that virtual assets are legally protected and others claiming otherwise. In May, Chinese prosecutors revealed their intention to crack down on “pseudo-innovations” in the country’s NFT business.
Despite the restriction, there has been an increase in interest in NFTs within the country. China Daily, the country’s English-language state-owned newspaper, announced last month the creation of its own metaverse and NFT platform, which will be available sometime next year.
China Daily announced an offer of 2.8 million Chinese yuan (roughly $384 million) to a third-party contractor, Chinese or foreign, who can create its Zhongbao Shuzang NFT issuance platform within three months.