China bans personal domain names

Individuals cannot register sites in their names

BEIJING — Chinese webizens have been banned from registering personal domain names, and those who already have personal websites could be forced to give them up, according to a new government regulation.

The move is part of a crackdown on pornographic websites, local media said. Rights activists say the intensified censorship of the Internet is part of a broader effort to stifle dissent online.

The state-run China Internet Network Information Center has banned the registration of Internet domain names for personal use unless it is for licensed businesses or state-approved organizations effective immediately.

According to rules on the org’s website, anyone who wants to register a .CN domain name must personally submit an application form with their company seal, a photocopy of the company’s business license and photocopy of their ID.

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