The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued a notice on Thursday, warning that it will require all tech firms and online service providers that have “public opinion attributes” or a “social mobilisation ability” to issue assessment reports.
As reported by the South China Morning Post, the new rules are likely to affect online forums, blogs, micro-blogs, chat rooms, video sites, webcasts and news providers.
And the type of information to be passed on include usernames, account names, network addresses, time of use, chat logs, call logs and the type of device being used.
China’s largest technology businesses, including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are all likely to come within the scope of the new regulations, but some Western companies also could find themselves affected.
Apple, for example, operates a messaging service in China, while Google last month confirmed long-standing rumours that it was developing a censored search engine in a bid to re-enter the Chinese market.
The new rules are due to come into effect on November 30 and CAC will enforce them with spot checks to ensure compliance.
And these latest measures to tighten control over the internet in China comes amid a wider crackdown on dissent by President Xi Jinping’s ruling Communist Party.
Earlier this week, for example, CAC announced that it had scrubbed 9,800 social media accounts of independent news providers who were judged to have posted sensational, vulgar or politically harmful content on the internet.
“The chaos among self-media accounts has seriously trampled on the dignity of the law and damaged the interests of the masses,” CAC said at the time.
Sourced from CAC, South China Morning Post, NDTV; additional content by WARC staff