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China’s Social Media Platform Mandated to Display Region of User IP

In October of last year, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released a draft copy of the “Internet User Account Information Management Regulations.” The draft copy specified that social media platforms should prominently display the region of the IP address of the user. Domestic users would show the province (or city) of the IP address and foreign users would display the country where the IP address belongs.

According to media in China, Weibo, WeChat, Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), Kuaishou, Xiaohongshu, Toutiao, and Zhihu have recently enabled this mandatory function to display the province or the country where the user’s IP is located. The user cannot turn off function.

More than a majority of Chinese netizens think that the mandatory display of IP region targets overseas users. Many criticized the move as an infringement on privacy and fear that it may fuel conflicts between users from different regions. Others expressed support, saying it could effectively block foreign forces.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), April 29, 2022