China enforces the use of real names to regulate online comments

From October and onwards, it will no longer be possible to make online comments on Chinese platforms without registering identification information prior to doing so.

The new rule is explained in detail by Cyberspace Administration of China on their official website. In short, webmasters will need to strengthen content reviews, protect personal information, conduct real-time information checks, as well as formulating plans to deal with emergencies.

Chinese forum service providers will be prohibited from seeking illegitimate interests through forwarding, publishing, or deleting information on these platforms.

The guideline states that illegal content has been detected on certain Chinese online platforms. This includes:

– False advertising

– Adult content

– Violence and slander

– Invasion of personal information

According to the guideline, this type of content disrupts the information dissemination order on the internet, as well as hurting the public interests. It also mentions that it has been internet users who have called for the regulation of online community services, at least the majority of them.

China’s first cyber security law officially took effect on June 1st. Since then, China has been stepping up its measures aimed at regulating the internet.

For example, three major Chinese social media platforms are under investigation. The Cyberspace Administration claims that some information found there violates laws and disrupts social order. Last month, Apple was forced to remove certain VPN apps from the Chinese app store to comply with a government ban. Furthermore, the three big Chinese phone carriers will be required to block access to VPNs by February 2018.