Non-Gamer Gets Screwed By Game Companies And Banks

Seeking damages and reparations for money he lost, Mr Shao of Foshan, Guangdong, has filed a lawsuit against two of China's largest game companies, as well as China's equivalent of PayPal, and a bank. What exactly is Shao so peeved about, apart from his lost cash? Apparently the money was going into accounts for online games that Shao doesn't play; in fact the 47-year-old Shao doesn't even play video games.

In September, Shao was attempting conduct some online banking, setting up accounts and putting money aside. After following the directions on the pamphlet that came with his ATM card, Shao tried to put 8000 yuan ($1285) into his Alipay account. Alipay is a service similar to PayPal in China that is run by Alibaba. After receiving a message that showed his transaction was complete, Shao was then greeted by another message saying his payment failed.

Freaking out that his transaction failed, Shao immediately checked his bank balance only to find that his balance was 8000 yuan lighter. Checking under the transaction tab, he saw that the money was sent to Shanghai Giant Corporation. Confused as to why a gaming company was getting his money, Shao called Giant in Shanghai and asked them to put a freeze on the account where his money ended up. He also asked the money to be returned.

Giant denied his request.

Despite being angry and short 8000 yuan, Shao wasn't turned away from online banking. Only a month later, he caught his eye on a DSLR camera on (China's version of Ebay/Amazon). This very same camera was priced at 8000 yuan and Shao decided to try online banking again. He logged onto his account and transferred the money over to his Alipay account. Unfortunately it didn't go through again and this time his money some how wound up funding a gaming subscription with the Chinese gaming company, The Nine.

After finding out that his purchase didn't go through, Shao called The Nine to have his money refunded. The Nine however denied his request citing that there was money coming in from Shao's account number, however the name on the game account belonged to one "Han Qingqing". This "Han Qingqing" also immediately emptied the account of cash, converting it to online subscription renewal vouchers that were distributed to 40 different online accounts.

Sick and tired of this ridiculous game, Shao decided to sue his bank, the gaming companies of The Nine and Giant, and Alipay in an attempt to recoup his 16,000 yuan ($2570) as well as any additional legal costs he may incur.

As of right now the case doesn't seem to be going well for Shao. Giant and The Nine both claim that they have no fault in this case. Their argument is that they can not arbitrarily freeze player accounts and that despite having a valid account transaction and account number there was no way to verify that Shao was the account holder or that he and the game accounts have nothing in common.

The Nine also argued that Shao should have had authorities reach out to them. They also stated that they did not benefit from the recharge as the money went directly to players.

Alipay also had threw Shao a similar curveball, stating that Shao isn't a customer of Alipay but instead a user. According to Alipay, the real holder of the online transactions account is the People's Bank of China.

Shao's bank also seems to be against him. His bank's lawyer said that Shao probably had a virus on his computer and it might be the reason why his online payments have failed. The bank also said that Shao was too slow to respond and that the bank isn't at fault in this instance.

All of this looks very grim for Shao, but one thing that I've learned in China during my time here is that, you don't mess with the bank. My office building has an ATM that allows for deposits — this ATM is only used by the people in my office and refilled by the Bank of China. I ended up withdrawing a fake bill from the ATM, when I called the bank, they blamed me. I really feel for Shao but it seems he's fighting a losing battle.

男子误为网游充值过万 状告四公司要求赔偿 [Southern Morning Daily via People's Daily]

Top photo: Chris Brignell/Shutterstock


    Yeah, China sucks.

      Ahh no, it doesn't.. but you do for making that statement.

        Yeah china is awesome. A place where the government control the media, the banks and the businesses. They might not have as many lawsuits as the USA, but that may because they still 'disappear people' who openly oppose them. Or they just slander them and put them in jail.

        Nobody is being racist and attacking the Chinese people, just those in charge.
        A glorified dictatorship dressed as communism.

    just wait til it explodes!

    Fraud is so rampant in China the typical bottom line is to never trust anyone. The guy should have taken it up with the bank/police when the first 8000 disappeared. :(

      Indeed.. he was way too slow to act and why didn't he pursue the original matter further when the first company gobbled up his money? Seems a bit far fetched to me.. especially when in both instances the amounts were identical.

    I love China, but I only ever withdraw cash over the counter at a bank so that I can check the bills myself. Oh, and I always transact in cash no matter what. Most subscription type stuff has pay-as-you-go options so you can top up somewhere local, which means you have a sniff of a chance of getting your money back if things go pear-shaped.

    Oh, and never take on the bank. I wouldn't even do it in Australia, let alone China. Too bloody expensive!

      I only use the big bank ATMs.. spent a lot of time in China (albeit not in the south) over the last 4.5 years and never had a single counterfeit note from an ATM. Never had one from a local retailer either for that matter... I know it does happen, so I am not blind to the activity and it certainly pays to play things safe and stick to the big banks.. but yeah.. never had a problem with fraud, theft or anything really.

      Oh sure.. the street people have TRIED to scam me.. but when you know the scams, it's easy and quick to spot.

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