China has enforced tighter controls of the internet which includes forcing individuals to fully identify themselves to service providers and legalising the deletion of “illegal” posts or pages.
According to the BBC, the move has been announced by the state as protecting personal information as well as a way to “safeguard national security and social public interests”. However, critics argue that China's new leadership, headed by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, is suffocating the country’s limited freedom of speech even further.
While Chinese authorities have always monitored and censored citizens' activities online, Jinping’s new leadership can now legally delete posts it deems to contain illegal information.
Internet users will have to formally make themselves known, through a real-name registration process. Users will also have to sign agreements to get online. While real-name registration was introduced in 2011, up to now, it had not been widely enforced.
Network service providers will also have to monitor information online, and will be required to “instantly” delete any illicit posts and save the records to report to the authorities.