Web users in China are to come under further scrutiny after plans were announced to force people to use their real names when posting on websites and social media.
China’s Cyberspace Administration (CCA) announced on Tuesday that all websites, microblogging sites, instant messaging platforms and internet forums will have to use the real name registration system.
Users will have an option to choose a screen nickname but backend administrators will still have access to real names.
The authorities first mooted the idea of compulsory real name registration for internet users in 2011 and since August last year, new users to WeChat and several other instant messaging sites have needed to use their real names.
A spokesperson of the China Cyberspace Administration said that since August, 80 per cent of WeChat users had registered using their real names.
It is estimated that China has more than 275 users of the microblogging site Sina Weibo, which is kind of a Facebook-Twitter hybrid. WeChat, the mobile text and messaging service has around 438 million active users.
Source: South China Morning Post