From March 16, all microblog users in China have had to register with their real names.
According to the new rule, people posting on microblog, or weibo, platforms must provide the networks with their personal identity cards or mobile phone numbers, Global Times reported. Unverified users can still read weibo content.
By midday on March 16, only 19 million of the 250 million microblog users on Sina Weibo had registered with the network, The Telegraph reported. Sina Weibo is an Eastern version of Twitter and has been a main source for uninhibited news and gossip in China.
According to the same report, some users might have found workaround solutions, including false registrations, to post on sites, but according to Reuters some users have said would not use weibo anymore because of the real name registration rule.
China has 513 million Internet users, and nearly half of them are on weibos, according to a BBC report. Microblog users in five cities in China have already had to register with their real names since last year as a pilot program for the rest of the country.