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China has a new Law. App providers ordered to keep user logs for months to stop spread of ‘illegal information’

Law regulatory authorities in China have began to tighten their grip on the fast growing app market. There is a new rule which demands all app providers in the mainland to adopt real name (original) at registrations and keep an activity logs for 60 days.

The Cyberspace Administration of China has implemented this new rule to tighten their grip on online speech as it targets “detested” public comments on all news websites.

The rule applies to the provision of “information services through mobile internet apps, app store services all throughout the mainland China”.

The regulation will take effect from 1st August . The idea is to curb the flow of illegal information and stop the violation of users rights which usually takes place through mobile apps.

“Lawbreakers exploit a handful of apps to disseminate violent, terrorist, obscene and pornographic information and rumours against the law,” an unnamed CAC official said on the agency’s website.

It is estimated that there are more then four million apps available in online stores on the mainland. WeChat, Alipay, QQ, Taobao are the most popular last month in terms of active users. Alibaba operates Alipay and Taobao and also owns the South China Morning Post.

The new rule demands user to register their real identities with app providers and then they are allowed to choose a public alias. The app providers are required to verify the identities by mobile numbers or any other means.

App stores are required to verify the apps registrations, issue warnings and suspend accounts who are not verified or publish “illegal information” and content.

The whole idea of this regulation is to stop people from making improper comments, spread information which is not legal particularly on social and political issues.

It seems like there is going to be a complete check and control on “freedom of speech” online.

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Written by Hisham Sarwar

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