Figuring if you can't ban them, you might as well make money off of them, the Mainland Chinese government has instituted a real tax on real money transactions, which is a very (very) big industry in China — and one that causes concern for the government, which fears money laundering and inflation. After attempting to severely curtail RMT, and realizing that wasn't really working, the government has moved to tax the hell out of RMT instead (a mere 20%!):
The announcement, which was distributed to local tax bureaus, specifically takes aim at those who buy virtual currency from gamers and surfers and sell it to others at a mark-up. Taxation officials are granted the right to determine the original price of online virtual currency if the individual fails to provide proof of an original price, it says.
We'll see how well this pans out — probably better than the attempt at an outright ban, at the very least — as this is a move that is gaining increasing popularity. Australia was actually the first country to start levying taxes on virtual transactions. Considering the RMT market is pretty diverse, it will be interesting to see exactly how the government tries to implement this — and how successful they are. Real Taxes for Real Money Made by Online Game Players [The Wall Street Journal]