PCOnline recently reported that, starting on March 16, 2012, the four primary microblog providers will require users to register with their real names. Anonymous users can only browse the microblogs but cannot submit their own. In the new user registration process, the user’s name and National ID number will be checked against the national police verification system. An initial trial of the “Real Name System” took place in Beijing and it is now being deployed nationwide. Users expressed concern over the new system, mainly on the privacy front as well as the freedom of speech side. The government suggested that the new requirement will help stop rumors and illegal activities. Microblogging has become a very popular means of communication in China. Internationally well-known microblog service providers, such as Twitter, are banned in China.
Source: PCOnline, February 8, 2012