On February 4, 2015, the State Internet Information Office promulgated the Provisions on the Administration of Internet User Account Names (hereinafter, the "Provisions"), which came into effect on March 1, 2015.
The Provisions specifically apply to Internet user account names registered, used and managed within the territories of the People's Republic of China. An "Internet user account name" is defined as an account the name registered or used by an entity or individual for Internet information services such as blog, microblog, instant messaging tools, forums, thread comments, etc.
The Provisions specifically provide that Internet user account names registered and used by any entities or individuals shall not be subject to any of the following nine circumstances: (1) violating the Constitution or laws and regulations; (2) undermining national security, disclosing state secrets, subverting the state authority, or disrupting the unity of the country; (3) undermining the reputation and interest of the country or jeopardizing public interest; (4) fanning ethnic hatred or discrimination or disrupting ethnic solidarity; (5) disrupting the state's religious policies and advocating cults and feudal superstition; (6) spreading rumors, disrupting social order and undermining social stability; (7) spreading obscenity, pornography, gambling, murder or terror or aiding or abetting crime; (8) insulting or defaming others or violating the lawful rights of others, or (9) containing other contents prohibited by laws or administrative regulations.
The Provisions also contain the following requirements for Internet service providers: an Internet service provider shall require Internet users to register their accounts based on real identity information authentication under the principle of "real name backstage and voluntary choice front stage."