The government announced this a long time ago, but I’m still surprised it’s actually coming to fruition (via Shanghaiist):
The Weibo accounts hosted by Sina, Sohu, NetEase and Tencent will require real name and ID number registration from all users by March 16th, with unregistered users to be denied posting and forwarding capabilities. The announcement was made at the Beijing Weibo Development Management Regulations Seminar held today in Beijing.
Users who don’t register will still be able to view other accounts. For users who do register, there are reassurances that real names will be kept secret with Weibo hosts, and will not be viewable by other users on Weibo.
Nah, they’ll just be viewable by the PSB office that would like to invite you over to ‘have tea.’ We’ll see exactly how much of a chilling effect this exerts on the freest speech China has to offer.