China to let bloggers use pseudonames

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Beijing China - The Chinese government has backed away from a plan that would have required bloggers to register their real names and information.  Chinese bloggers are now only “encouraged” to register their names with service providers.  Under this new so-called “Self-discipline code”, the providers would keep this information secret in a database.

The Internet Society of China, under directions from the Ministry of Information Industry, enacted the new rules after several China-based service providers said that it would be nearly impossible to track and verify the names of bloggers.  The government originally wanted the information to help it stop slander, pornography and the spread of “harmful information”.

Now bloggers can, but are not required, to register their names and information with a blog service provider.  After registration, they are free to use a pseudonym or “stage name” for their blogs.

China has an estimated 20 million bloggers.