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Real Name Registration to be Implemented for Chinese Microblogging

China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO) held a press conference on January 13, 2015, announcing that the office will comprehensively promote the management of real identities of Internet users. The principle will be "real name registration at the back end, voluntary registration at front end." Microblogging sites such as weibo (微博) and tieba (贴吧) are all subject to enforcement.
SIIO also announced the closure of 24 websites, 9 channels (columns), and 17 microblogging accounts, with charges that they faked government agencies or the media to publish false information and/or release illegal information involving gambling and fraud. In fact, rumors about real name registration on the Internet have been circulating for a long time. In 2014, SIIO issued "Interim Provisions on the Management of Instant Communication Tools and Public Information Services. The Provisions demanded that service providers of instant communication tools follow the principle of "real name back end and voluntary front end registration," requiring users to register their accounts after verification of their real identity information. At that time, microblogging was not subject to the regulation as it belongs to social networking media and is not one of the instant communication tools. However, some Internet service providers, such as Sina Weibo (新浪微博), have tried to implement real name registration for Internet users.
Source: China News Service, January 14, 2015