Here is a great story about ZT Online, a Chinese MMO with very few qualms about taking money from their customers. The game is highly based on spending real money. When one user started a peaceful rebellion, events were rigged so that her kingdom would be attacked by other players. It is a fascinating read.
One interesting side-effect of an Internet-cafe-based gaming culture: salespeople who go around Internet cafes to try and talk players into switching to a different game. So logical, yet so unexpected from my European perspective.