A Shanghai court has given 41 year-old Qiu Chengwei a suspended death sentence for murdering a man following a row over a virtual weapon.

As we reported back in April, Qiu loaned Zhu Caoyuan, a fellow player of MMORPG Legend of Mir, his 'dragon sabre' for use in the game.

Zhu then sold the weapon to another gamer for 7200 yuan ($870). Police told Qiu they could not charge Zhu with any crime as there is nothing in Chinese law regarding ownership of virtual property.

Zhu died after Qiu visited his home and stabbed him in the chest. Qiu later turned himself in to police and pled guilty to "intentional injury".

The suspended death sentence is equivalent to a life prison term, with a possibility of parole in 15 years.

Zhu's parents have already announced their intention to appeal for a harsher sentence. His father, Zhu Huimin, said: "My son was only 26 when he died. He was sleeping when Qiu broke into his home. He was barely able to put his pants on before Qiu stabbed him.

"We want Qiu to die, and immediately," he added.

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Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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