President Hu Jintao had told bloggers they would be forced to identify themselves, in an effort to prevent anonymous people hiding in cyberspace and causing a "bad influence."
According to the Xinhua news agency, the government now intends to drop compulsory identification following "outcries" from industry and netizens.
Real-name registration should be "encouraged" rather than made mandatory. Xinhua quoted the CEO of popular Internet portal Sohu.com, Zhang Chaoyang, as reflecting widespread concerns that the government's initial plan would curtail much-enjoyed cyber freedoms.
However it is more likely that the policy shift may simply have arisen because regulation would have been extremely difficult and costly to implement.
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