Update: see this blog entry.
Informationweek has reported that the Chinese government's latest internet reforms include a ban on trading virtual currency for real currency. Richard Heeks at the University of Manchester, who is quoted in the report, estimates that around 80% of the world's gold farming takes place in China. Furthermore:
"The Chinese government estimates that trade in virtual currency exceeded several billion yuan last year, a figure that it claims has been growing at a rate of 20% annually. One billion yuan is currently equal to about $146 million."
I wonder what that will mean for China. I guess it's a drop in the ocean for their entire economy, but it's going to put people out of work. Will it continue illegally? Where will I get my 1000 gold for magic hammers from? Aiie!