Major Chinese social networks are requiring their most popular bloggers to reveal their real names. This could be a major step that would further strengthen Beijing’s control over the country’s internet, writes Bloomberg.
Tencent’s WeChat, ByteDance’s Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), and Kuaishou Technology’s video service are among the platforms that have posted remarkably similar notices. In them, they require users with large audiences to post under their real names.
Initially, this will apply to users with more than a million followers. But later, the threshold will be lowered to half a million. According to some platforms, bloggers who write about politics, economics, and current events will be targeted by these rules.
The simultaneous announcements suggest that the government may be behind this policy. China has had a strict Internet control regime for years. It persecutes dissidents and purges content that is considered dangerous.
Last year, Chinese networks, including Weibo and Douyin, began showing the location of users based on their Internet protocol addresses. At the time, this was explained by the intention to stop the spread of false rumors.