Baihe.com, a marriage social networking website in China, has started compulsory real-name registrations for new users, and the registrations will be checked via an authentication system.
For old users, Baihe.com will provide a three-month transitional period and only users passing the authentication can continue to use its services after that period. This is in accordance with a recent Chinese government push to have websites enhance their real-name registrations.
To protect the privacy of users, Baihe.com previously adopted anonymity in the use of front-end avatars and real names in the registered data for the users. A user in that scenario can only know the real name of another with his or her consent.
Tian Fanjiang, chief executive officer of Baihe.com, revealed that the entire real-name authentication process can be completed within one minute. The identity information provided by users will be directly sent to the database of China's national citizen identity information system, and the authentication result will instantly return to the mobile phones of users. Baihe.com will not obtain the ID numbers of users.
In regards to the concern that the new measure may cause user loss, Tian said the company considered the launch of the real-name policy two years ago, but canceled the plan due to the worry about user loss. However, it is apparently not a problem anymore. Baihe.com has already developed a large user base; on the other hand, other Chinese websites such as Kaixin001.com and Renren.com have promoted the real-name registration, which helps cultivate the entire market.
A market survey implemented by Baihe.com reportedly showed that 70% of its users accept real-name registrations, because it will create a better website environment; while nearly 20% will not. According to public files, Baihe.com currently has 36 million registered users. By ratio, the website is expected to lose nearly seven million users with the implementation of real-name policy.