All Chinese domestic websites, particularly non-business websites, will need to register for an identification number or risk being closed.

The news was reported today by Xinhua, which said that the identification number will allow users to learn background details of the websites they visit via an online registration system. Those websites that are not registered will be gradually closed starting this month.

When registering, websites need to submit the name of the person responsible for the site, the Internet access location and the basic situation of the website, and mark at the bottom of the homepage of their website the registration identification number and link it to the registration management system of the Ministry of Information Industry.

It is still unclear whether this will apply only to .cn domain names or also .com domain names that are hosted in China. Furthermore, the announcement does not specify if Chinese companies whose websites are hosted overseas will need to also register those overseas sites.

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