facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Chinese Official Blows Public Funds on Gaming Addiction

"Chu" faces prison after spending millions of taxpayers' yuan on an online role-playing game.

Image: 

The game Chu couldn't stop playing.
Photo via

By Bryan Le

06/19/13

| Share

An official in China faces 11 years in prison after he embezzled 2.6 million yuan ($424,247) in public funds to support his addiction to a role-playing video game. The local official, identified only as Chu, was responsible for allocating taxpayer money in the Neighborhood Cooperative Economic Administration Center in Nanjing City. But in 2005, he got hooked on a multiplayer online role playing game called Zhengtu, a Chinese game similar to the immensely popular and notoriously addictive World of Warcraft. After spending 10,000 yuan ($1,633 USD) on in-game equipment for his avatar and 100,000 yuan ($16,327 USD) on two Zhengtu premium accounts, he soon dried up his savings. Within the year, Chu began dipping into public funds to fly himself and fellow players to meet up or attend Zhengtu-related events across the globe. After five years, his wife left him due to his obsession. By 2012, Chu finally turned himself in after having blown through millions of yuan in taxpayer money and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. A blogger on Sina Weibo, a Chinese site similar to Twitter, says: “A neighborhood official can do this kind of messy thing for six years without being caught!” China has taken steps to curb its widespread problem of gaming addiction. Initiatives include campaigns launched earlier this year to diagnose the condition, and to intervene with kids' Internet use. 

Most Popular
Sober Living
How I Forgave the Woman Who Helped My Son Die of an Overdose

She introduced him to the drug that eventually killed him. It took a long time, but eventually I had to treat her the way my son would have wanted.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv