China Tightens Mobile Phone Real-Name Policy

All mobile phone owners must register their real names by July 2017

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced a clamp down on real-name registration for mobile phones in the country. By July 2017, everyone in the country with a mobile phone must have their real name registered against the SIM card, including foreign visitors. Since the plans were originally proposed in 2010, it has taken six years for laws to be put in place that would force people to comply with the suggested plans. However, with 100 million people still using phones registered to another name, the enforcement standards will be increased to ensure that 100% of SIM cards will be registered with Chinese state ID. This comes only a matter of weeks after there were calls in Russia to force online commenters to register their real names with their passports, which itself came just days after the country was reported to have asked for assistance in tightening its internet censorship from China. 

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