China’s legislature has approved new rules that will tighten government control of the Internet by requiring users to register their real names, and demanding Internet companies censor online material.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency says lawmakers approved the measures Friday at the closing meeting of a five-day session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Beijing says the regulations are aimed at protecting the personal information of Web users and cracking down on abuses such as junk e-mail. The rules also aim to “safeguard national security and social public interests,” according to Xinhua. They have the same legal effect as a law.
China has long tried to get Internet users to register their real names rather than pseudonyms with service providers, but with nearly half a billion netizens, the task has been an uphill battle. The new regulations aim to change that and, for the first time, lay the written groundwork to police companies that are not complying with the government’s censorship policies.
Identity protection or censorship?
The decision says network service providers will “strengthen management of information released by users” by instantly stopping the transmission of “illegal information” once it is spotted and by taking relevant measures. Those measures, Xinhua reports, include removing the information and saving records, before reporting it to authorities.
The rules did not say what constitutes illegal information.
Beijing has a complex information management system that includes blocking foreign websites like YouTube and Facebook, censoring Internet searches for sensitive words and phrases and deploying an army of bloggers to steer online discourse away from potentially volatile political and social issues.
Despite that, the growth of China’s Internet has lead to a growth in online calls for reform. Complaints on Chinese microblogs about corruption, abuse of power, human rights violations and environmental pollution have led to action offline, including street protests and the dismissal or resignation of corrupt officials.
RCEP and China: Reimagining the future of trade in Asia
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) could eventually usher in an era of much deeper regional integration: for corporates doing business in the region, their future success may well hinge on how adeptly they manage to navigate the evolution of Asia’s trade landscape under the RCEP.
Last month, 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region – including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea – signed the landmark Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on the final day of the 37th ASEAN Summit.(more…)
Thailand ready to ink big Chinese-backed trade deal
The RCEP will cover all 10 Asean member states plus five partners: China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea and will take effect from the middle of 2021 if at least six Asean members and three partners agree to its terms.
Great Wall Motor (China) takes over GM factory in Thailand
The Thai production hub will become operational in the first quarter of 2021 with automobile production capacity of 80,000 units per annum.
COVID-19 brings first consumer confidence drop in 3 months
Consumer confidence in December 2020 was measured at 50.1 points, down from 52.4 the previous month. Economic confidence was also...
Wish you were here: how the pandemic harmed tourism-dependent economies
Before COVID-19, travel and tourism had become one of the most important sectors in the world economy, accounting for 10...
How Asia Pacific can turn COVID crisis into an opportunity
Bold policies needed to boost economic recovery and improve social stability
Asia’s supply chains to be tested by COVID-19 vaccine delivery
The global logistics company DHL estimates that global vaccine coverage will take around 200,000 pallet shipments and 15 million deliveries...
Covid-19: the Latest on Southeast Asia
As 2021 dawns, the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop in Southeast Asia. Many countries are preparing to receive their first...
Thailand’s slow economic recovery
The speed of economic recovery in Thailand has been slower than neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and China, especially...