Business / Policy Watch

China to restrict use of screen names

By Gao Yuan ( Updated: 2015-02-04 15:47

Internet account names such as "Obama" and "Putin" are on longer available for netizens in China, an industry official said on Wednesday.

China will ask Internet firms to vet "inappropriate account names" used on virtually all platforms to keep cyberspace "clean", said Xu Feng, head of mobility bureau at the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Account names faking government organs, celebrities and officials will not be allowed, said the administration. Nicknames apparently advertising cults, pornography and damaging State security will also be banned.

The new rule requires netizens to use regulated account names on virtually all platforms, including blogs, micro-blogs, social networking tools and messaging applications.

The regulation will be effective on March 1.

"The new regulation targets the illegal use of online nicknames, and will protect the appropriate use of personalized nicknames," said Xu.

Currently, Internet companies are asked to collect the real identities of their users, according to a regulation issued in last year. The use of nicknames was not regulated.

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