back to article China enacts 'real name policy' for internet addresses

China has enacted its own version of Facebook's "real name policy" for the registration of internet addresses. Under renewed rules covering companies that are allowed to sell domain names and run top-level domains in China, there is now a requirement for those companies to introduce the capability for "real name verification …

Ole Juul Silver badge

and verify it

I think the obligation to verify is the big thing here. Will they actually enforce that? I note that ICANN has a real name policy and they do enact it on occasion, but one can generally give fake information if one is so inclined. Another example is Russia who, as I just experienced, ask for passport information when registering their ccTLD. However, that seems to be mostly bureaucratic posturing as they apparently don't verify.

Mark 85 Silver badge

Re: and verify it

Seeing that it's China... verification might very well be enforced. They tend to play hardball and send the family the bill for the bullet.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: and verify it

Spoken like a dumb yank who's never been to China or even owned a passport.

China is very bureaucratic, but their surveillance is not sophisticated. It's possible to get lost in China for a year at a time (with visa renewals). I know because I've done it.

It's not the cameras, but the database / cross referencing that is dangerous. That's why I'm not afraid of surveillance in China, whereas the UK is like living in Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

Mark 85 Silver badge

Re: and verify it

That's what we're discussing, I thought.. the database, etc for the domain registration. Nothing to do with cameras, or getting lost in the shuffle.

Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

Re: and verify it

So with 200M called Wang and another 100M called Zhang. I can see a small chance of a Tuttle / Buttle mixup.

Perhaps, in honour of Mr Gilliam we could start calling this a Brazillian ?

a_yank_lurker Silver badge

Re: and verify it

@AC - "the database / cross referencing that is dangerous" - The key for a functional police state is the ability to cross reference data in databases in real time. Bureaucracies in all countries have many power hungry lifers who could use this to make life miserable for some perceived enemy of the state. Couple this with a variety of vague laws and a multi-year vacation complete with jump suit is in the cards at the local version of Club Fed.

The difference, ironically, is the Chinese and some others are more honest about this than many.

frank ly Silver badge

Facebook comparison?

I don't think you can compare China's domain registration system with Facebook's user account name requiirements, because they are not the same area of operation. A better comparison would be with domain registration in Europe or the USA.

My little .com hobby domain has my name, address and contact phone number registered for it, as is required by the domain registrar. I don't know how rigorous they are in checking that and what would happen if I provided false details. However, since I pay monthly by credit card, I'd be easy enough to find.

LDS Silver badge

Re: Facebook comparison?

Domain registrations usually in USA and many EU countries doesn't require much verification, sometimes none. Just looks at how many domain crooks are able to register to sustain their operations. You can buy a sackful - probably using stolen credit cards - while submitting ridiculously fake details no one will ever check - it's now a business, cash as much money as you can, who cares if they are from spammers, phishers and other criminals, after all you had to lower prices so much you need volumes to get a return.

China reasons are far from being noble and not there to combat crime - the reasons in the western world are not noble anyway.


Re: Facebook comparison?

My little .com hobby domain has my name, address and contact phone number registered for it, as is required by the domain registrar. I don't know how rigorous they are in checking that and what would happen if I provided false details.

I lied glibly...there is no way in hell I'm publishing my home address for the whole internet...that's a lot of people and statistically some of them are going to be full-bore loonies. Too risky for me.

Every year my registrar sends me an "Are you sure this correct? Please change any incorrect details" email, as mandated by ICANN and there the matter lies. Literally, in my case. There is probably some variation in how registrars go about verifying, but it's an extra cost so I doubt that any of them are going to be exceptionally stringent about it.

It's a scam anyway...ICANN insists on real names and then clips you for a bit extra so it's not published to all and sundry on the WHOIS. A lightweight protection racket.

That's for .coms...different TLD's have different requirements ranging from none at all to tax numbers ( with quite a few of the country ones requiring a local presence. There's a list here.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I just hope for one thing ..

.. a central point where you could report the script kiddies that try to break your website.

I have actually banned some full IP ranges because the same scripts were distributed over a full Class C (clearly visible in the 404 logs).

I have no problem with them being sent to hard labour, but I suspect they would just be co-opted by the government instead..

Steve Crook


Imagine how much worse it would have been if China hadn't hosted the Olympics....

Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

No laughing matter

I have read that there are very few personal names used by the Chinese. How, then, does one distinguish Messrs Ho, Ho, and Ho?

Social security numbers, I suppose; or whatever the Chinese call them.We live in a world of sophists, economists, and calculators, wrote Edmund Burke long ago.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: No laughing matter

does one distinguish Messrs Ho, Ho, and Ho?

Easy, that's santa

Steve Knox Silver badge

Re: No laughing matter

The question being whether Primus's original post title was meant to evoke that association, to deflect it, or was simply coincidental.

Bob Rocket

When you tossers

have finished messing it up completely and the general scum start to shun it as being just another vector of spam and id theft (because you insisted on real id's).

Can we have it back.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Who are you?


Yes, who are you?



Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


IMHO it is the whois system that needs tightening up and centralising. If I receive an email from Is it from or is it from someone else? The only way I can check this is to look at the whois records, but that isn't always easy, particularly if you want to set down a rigid procedure for someone to follow when they receive a questionable email.

If you think the answer to my question is easy, what about the email I received from the other day which purportedly came from a bank. You tell me whether that is genuine or not.

Alister Silver badge

What's new?

Not sure why you are making such a big thing about this, various countries already require proof from companies before allowing them to register a domain.

Note that this is FOR COMPANIES, not for individuals.

I recently had reason to have to register a .fr domain for a company. The requirements for this were very strict indeed.

I don't recall there being a big story about France's domain registration policies?


.uk domains

UK domains also require real names and addresses. About 10 years ago I had a .uk domain suspended because I'd put 123 Fake Street as the address.

Geoff May

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