• China regulator releases new and stricter rules covering mobile app users, developers and app store operators.

China regulator releases new and stricter rules covering mobile app users, developers and app store operators. (Photo : Getty Images)

China released a new set of rules that requires all mobile app users as well as the App Store to have a real name registration and preserve activity logs from users for a period of 60 days.

According to Reuters, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) wants to get a full grip on the rapidly expanding app market, which it considers a platform used for fraudulent activity, pornography distribution, and malicious rumors.

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However, the Internet regulating body did not specify whether Chinese apps from overseas would be covered by the stricter rules.

New Rules Covering Apps

According to the South China Morning Post, the new rules cover "information services through mobile Internet apps as well as app store services on the Chinese mainland."

Based on the new rules, users are required to register their real names with the app provider before they will be allowed a public alias or username.

The app provider then verifies all the information collected by mobile numbers or any other means. They are also required to regulate accounts or user profiles that violate the rules on the publishing of "illegal information."

The new rules also require app store operators to maintain compliance of the law and implement the regulations to the app developers.

Some apps like ones under the beauty category may not be as affected as those involved in social networking and microblogging.

However, some believe that it will be an effective way of managing people's comments and preventing them from recklessly posting improper content over the Internet.

"Many users like to comment on social and political news on live-streaming and news apps. Now they will need to think twice before making any comment that authorities could claim spurred public scares or rumors," an anonymous Guangzhou-based app operator told the SCMP.

Use of Mobile Apps in Crimes

In its Tuesday report, Reuters revealed that the Chinese regulator is aiming to crack down on the "unscrupulous" use of applications.

According to them, there had been incidents where criminal and security-detrimental activities were carried out using mobile apps.

"A small number of apps have been exploited by criminal types to spread violence and terrorism, pornographic material, rumors and other illegal information," said the CAC.

By requiring app developers to maintain records of user activity and information for 60 days, the Chinese regulator will be able to speed up crackdown on malicious content and illicit information.

It is also said to improve censorship, giving the Chinese government full control over the technological advancement.