Chinese Twitter-like service braces for negative impact of real-name registration

Only 60 percent of users who have agreed to register with their real identities actually qualify, Sina said

Beijing's new real-name registration policy for the nation's Twitter-like platforms could lead to a "dramatic scenario", preventing many users from publishing their posts, according to microblogging site Sina Weibo, which has been working to implement the new system among its users.

By March 16, users on China's Twitter-like platforms will be required to register their real identities in order to publish posts on the sites. Users can however opt out of the policy, and instead become "read-only" users.

Sina Weibo, one of the largest Twitter-like platforms in the country, reported on Tuesday that its total registered users had reached more than 300 million, with daily active users at about 27 million. Over the last two months, the site has been encouraging users to register with their real identities. But the process has been difficult and it will take time to get more users on board, Sina CEO Charles Chao said during a conference call.

"Although we have sent out messages, so far the response rate was quite low," he said.

Of the users who have chosen to register with the real-name system, only about 60 percent actually succeed in meeting the requirements, Chao added. The other 40 percent later dropped out of the registration process because the personal ID information provided did not match with state records.

"If fully implemented in the near future, (the policy) will have a negative impact on user activities in the short-term." Chao said. "In a very dramatic scenario, (users) may not be able to speak, or to post messages, but hopefully that's not going to happen."

Beijing's city government announced the new regulations in December, as a way to stop harmful information from spreading on the social networking sites, which have also become forums to criticize authorities. Some Sina Weibo users have worried that the real-name registration will allow the government to monitor their actions on the sites.

Currently, about half of Sina's 27 million active daily users publish posts, Chao said. The other half mainly read posts. Since Beijing's new real-name registration policy was announced in December, Sina Weibo's active daily user growth has increased by 8 to 10 percent, he added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?