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Weibo CEO Tests New Real-Name Policy on His Own Account

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

The CEO of China's popular microblogging platform, Weibo, Wang Gaofei, has confirmed that the country may implement a new policy requiring online commentators to display their real names on their accounts.

Credits: REUTERS

This move has raised concerns about growing censorship and government scrutiny over the internet in China.

Wang's comments caught the attention of local media and Weibo users, as several influencers have already been informed that users with one million or more followers will have to display their real names when commenting on politics, entertainment and finance.

Wang himself tested out this policy by displaying his own name on his account. He explained that he often tries out new functions on his own account first. With nearly one million followers, Wang also mentioned that the real-name policy could potentially be extended to users with half a million followers or more in the future. He suggested that users could delete followers to avoid being subjected to the policy.

While China's media industry is heavily regulated by the government, there has been a rise in popular bloggers and independent media groups known as "zimeiti." These entities have gained substantial readership and influence, prompting the cyberspace regulator to crack down on their activities. The regulator has shut down many bloggers and fined social media platforms for not taking sufficient action.

The implementation of the real-name policy is seen as another step by the Chinese government to exert control over online discourse and ensure accountability for users' comments. However, critics argue that it further restricts freedom of speech and expression.

  • Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei confirmed that China may require online commentators to display their real names on their accounts.

  • Influencers with one million or more followers have already been informed about the real-name policy.

  • Wang tested the policy by displaying his own name on his account.


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