China Plans Online Registration System



International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is concerned to learn that China’s State Council Information

Office plans to create a registration system for web-users seeking to participate

in online forums or to post information on the Internet.



to an article in the state-owned China Daily newspaper on May 5, the Minister

for the State Council Information Office, Wang Chen, disclosed that the system

would require netizens and cell-phone users to supply their real names when

posting information on the Internet,

instead of using “usernames” or pseudonyms.



reportedly said that the office had been exploring the creation of an identity

authentication system for web-users posting to bulletin boards, citing a need

to prevent “hostile overseas forces from infiltration via the Internet”. Wang explained that preventing the dissemination

of “harmful information” was a key concern of the office.



to the China Internet Network

Information Centre, about 400 million Chinese citizens go online, while more

than 600 million people own cell phones.



proposed system will intimidate web-users into self-censorship, limiting freedom

of expression online,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan

White said.



IFJ urges the State Council Information Office to reconsider and drop its plans

for the registration system, on the basis that it will contravene China’s

constitutional guarantees to freedom of expression.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide