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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Micro blog policy unclear for overseas users

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

08:24, February 09, 2012

BEIJING - The upcoming regulation requiring micro blog users to register with their real identities has yet to set procedures for overseas users, China Daily has found.

The situation has puzzled foreign users without Chinese ID cards.

"I asked the website staff members what I should do, but they didn't answer," said Jeremy Goldkorn, a weibo user from South Africa and CEO of Danwei consulting.

Goldkorn said he has been paying attention to this regulation for a long time, but is still confused. "I registered with my real name since I started using weibo and I remembered no one asked me to provide a passport at that time."

"If the government requires me to register with a passport, I don't care," he said, adding the real-name registration will not affect his use of weibo.

Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like service, will require anyone registered after March 16 to provide their real identities to post or forward micro blogs.

The program will start with the seven websites in Beijing, including Sohu, NetEase and Sina before expanding across the country, the Beijing Internet authority said.

Bill Bishop, founder of a website named Market Watch and a weibo user, posted a micro blog on Feb 7, asking what to do after the real-name registration system is put into effect on March 16.

"I don't know what I can do to face such a regulation. I haven't thought about that," Bishop said, adding the government already knows his passport information.

China Daily posed the foreign users' questions to Tong Liqiang, deputy director of Beijing's Internet Information Office. He said they are studying the real-name registration for foreign accounts now, but refused to give more details.

Meanwhile, employees responsible for weibo service from Sohu said they so far have no specific solutions to verify foreign users.

In addition, potential users who choose "overseas" as their location when registering a weibo account, as well as those who are already "based overseas", may continue posting and forwarding micro blogs with existing identities - a situation which is also not explained by the websites.

At last count, there were 8 million blog accounts "based overseas", according to figures supplied by

"What we can do is to urge the websites to push for the real-name registration and hope they can encourage their weibo users to use their real identities before the deadline," Tong added.

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Leave your comment1 comments

  1. Name

helen at 2012-02-09203.82.82.*
The same must apply to all users irrespective of nationality otherwise the US State Dept. and the CIA will flood the microblogs in China. That Washington Witch has already declared that she would subvert China with internet wars against China. No loopholes and exemptions be made!

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