Chinese officials say the rules are aimed at protecting the personal information of Internet users and stopping abuses such as junk e-mail. However, critics say real-name registration will make individuals less likely to report corruption and official abuses for fear of possible action against them.
Duncan Clark is an adviser to Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He lives in Beijing. Mr. Clark says China seems to be seeking a balance between information control and government accountability.
"We've seen for a long time the Internet being used to expose corruption, but what's been interesting in the recent few weeks, which is maybe a sort of counter current to these new crackdowns on the Internet, is that a lot of this has been followed up."
Mr. Clark says reports of sexual or financial wrongdoing have led to the ouster of several government officials.