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China requires real name registration for app users

The Cyberspace Administration of China issued new regulations on mobile internet app services on Tuesday, demanding app providers take further measures to ensure information security.

The Internet watchdog said that applications are main carriers of mobile internet information services, but some apps have been used to spread information that authorities deem to be illegal, steal users’ private information and defraud users.

According to the regulation posted on the Administration’s official website, mobile internet apps providers should guarantee users’ full rights during the processes of the app being installed and/or used.

Also, the regulation prohibits the app or app providers from using the apps in activities prohibited by law. And the regulation encourages relevant organizations to use apps to help make their government affairs public and provide better public services.

In particular, app providers are demanded to authenticate registered users’ identity information, including mobile phone numbers.

However, tech news blog Huxiu said that the regulation may not bring actual change to the network environment in China. Netizens can use either their phone number or any “big” social network app account to login into many other apps.

According to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center in January 2016, the internet population of China has reached 688 million.

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