China's Sina says microblog controls damaging

Feb 28, 2012
Web users at a Beijing internet cafe in 2011. Chinese web giant Sina warned Tuesday that government requirements for microbloggers to register their real names before posting messages will hurt activity on its popular social networking site.

Chinese web giant Sina warned Tuesday that government requirements for microbloggers to register their real names before posting messages will hurt activity on its popular social networking site.

Sina chief executive Charles Chao said more than 40 percent of new registered users for its Weibo site had failed verification screenings since the Beijing city government announced the new regulations in December.

"We believe that the requirement to convert existing users into verified users... will have a on user activity in the short term," Chao said, after announcing Sina swung to a net profit in the fourth quarter.

"We can not rule out any new tightening policy that may be introduced in future which may further impact our user growth and user activity in a negative way."

Despite the uncertain regulatory outlook, Chao told a conference call that Sina still planned to "invest heavily" in Weibo in 2012 after its total number of registered users tripled to 300 million in 2011.

Beijing announced in December that of weibos -- Chinese microblogs similar to Twitter -- will have to give their to website administrators by March 16 or be barred from posting online.

Authorities in Shanghai and the southern province of Guangdong have since introduced similar measures and a senior propaganda official said last month that real-name registration for microblogs would be expanded.

With more than half a billion Chinese now online, Chinese authorities are concerned about the power of the Internet to influence public opinion in a country that maintains tight controls on its .

Ordinary Chinese are increasingly using weibos to vent their anger and frustration over official corruption, scandals and disasters, but analysts believe the new rules could curb online criticism of authorities.

Nasdaq-listed Sina said it swung to a of $9.3 million in the final quarter of 2011, compared with a net loss of $100 million for the same period a year earlier, according to a statement.

Net revenue rose 21 percent year-on-year to $133.4 million, but the company flagged weaker revenue in the first quarter due to a downturn in advertising.

Explore further: US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China extends microblog rules to south: report

Dec 22, 2011

China is extending rules requiring microblog users to register under their real names to Guangdong, state media said Thursday, after a spate of violent protests in the southern province.

Beijing orders microbloggers to register real names

Dec 16, 2011

Beijing city authorities on Friday issued new rules requiring microbloggers to register their real names before posting online, as the Chinese government tightens its grip on the Internet.

China city tightens control of microblogs

Dec 26, 2011

Shanghai will require microblog users to register under their real names from Monday, state media said, the latest local government in China to implement the rule after a spate of violent protests.

China to further tighten control of microblogs

Jan 19, 2012

A senior Chinese propaganda official has said real-name registration for the nation's hugely popular microblogs will be expanded, as authorities tighten their grip on the web amid fear of unrest.

Beijing issues ultimatum for microblog users

Feb 08, 2012

Microblog users in Beijing who do not register using their real names by mid-March will be banned from posting comments, a local official said on Wednesday, as authorities tighten their grip on the web.

China's biggest microblog tops 200 million users

Aug 18, 2011

A popular social networking service used by Chinese people to vent their anger over a deadly July train crash now has more than 200 million users, owner Sina.com said Thursday.

Recommended for you

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

9 hours ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

Aug 21, 2014

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

User comments : 0