Sina Weibo sees 60 percent of user accounts verified by this month

by on March 12th, 2012

Around 60 percent of Chinese microbloggers, having an account on Sina Weibo, would have registered their real identities by March 16, the company stated on Monday.

“We estimate that by the deadline, the majority of our users, about 60 percent of them would have successfully registered their identities,” Liu Qi, a Sina spokesman, said.

Weibo, which operates a Twitter-like microblog in China has more than 250 million users. Microbloggers  often use the site to spread fake news and post content deemed sensitive by the government. In December last year, the Beijing city government issued new rules giving microblog operators based in the city three months time, to get their users to register their real identities, so it could easily trace the source of online rumors and take action against users spreading inflammatory content on major Chinese microblogs.

Under this new rule, users were asked to submit their names, ID number and cell phone numbers to Weibo. Microblog operators had to then get the info verified for accuracy by the public security department.

Sina Weibo chief executive Charles Chao, stated in a recent report that the new rule might have negative impact on user activity in the short term.

“We believe that the requirement to convert existing users into verified users will have a negative impact on user activity in the short term. We cannot rule out any new tightening policy that may be introduced in future which may further impact our user growth and user activity in a negative way,” Chao explained.