China demands that videos not be uploaded anonymously -

China demands that videos not be uploaded anonymously

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

January 22, 2014

In a further hardening of its control of the internet and social media, the Chinese government has ordered that internet users must register with their real names in order to upload videos to online video sites.

YouKu is a popular alternative to YouTube in China

China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) made the announcement on its website on Monday, saying that the new rule, ‘aimed at online dramas, micro-films and other online audio-visual programmes,’ was to ‘prevent vulgar content, base art forms, exaggerated violence and sexual content in Internet video having a negative effect on society’.

The Chinese government has been keen to crack down on critics of both its officials and its policies, both of which are common targets of video uploads to the county’s numerous popular video portal websites.

A similar attempt to require real-life identities when signing up for mobile phone SIM cards and the WeChat messaging system has met with limited success, and a new report showing that at least 34 percent of the population use a VPN service to protect their identities and evade censorship (with 60 percent of these using it to access YouTube), strongly suggests that this new requirement will be widely ignored by a technically sophisticated internet population.

For more information on censorship in China, and how to evade it, check out our articles on 5 Best VPNs for China, and Accessing Websites from China.