BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Instant messaging service providers on Friday voiced support for a new regulation that requires netizens to use their real names when registering and restricts rights to release and retweet political reports.
"The regulation will help the company handle harmful information and standardize the release of news information through public accounts," said Jiang Yang, vice president of Tencent, parent company of instant messaging platform WeChat, which has nearly 800 million users worldwide.
"It will play a key role in promoting healthy and orderly development of the industry," she said at a seminar held by the State Internet Information Office (SIIO).
Under an SIIO regulation that took immediate effect on Thursday, China now requires users of instant messaging services to use their real names when registering, in an effort to hold users responsible for the content they send out.
Only media organizations and news websites can use public accounts to release and retweet political reports. Some public accounts of non-media organizations will be allowed to retweet political reports after scrutiny.
Users must abide by "seven bottom lines": authenticity of the information provided, the law, national interests, public order, the rights of other citizens, social morality and the socialist system.
Tencent has always fought against the spread of rumors, which are seriously polluting cyberspace and disturbing public order, Jiang said.
The company has closed more than 540,000 accounts disseminating pornography and information about the sex trade this year. The owners of more than 400 public accounts have received punishment for spreading harmful information, she added.
Li Lan, vice general manager of Xiaomi, another popular instant messaging tool, said the apps has set up a mechanism to receive public reports about "harmful" information so as to delete it quickly.
Only a few reputable public accounts are allowed to release information on Xiaomi to minimize the risks of rumormongering, Li said.
"As providers of messaging services, we must uphold the responsibilities of maintaining social stability and development," he said.
There are worries that instant messaging users will now face more hassle, noted Zhu Yi, CEO of the ZhuE Media Co., Ltd., which provides consultation for the instant messaging sector.
"But in the long run, the regulation is helpful in creating a healthy cyberspace where the public can be effectively shielded from information relating to violence as well as slander and rumors," Zhu said.