SHANGHAI, March 12 China's Sina Corp
estimates 60 percent of the users of its popular
microblogging Weibo platform would have registered their real
identities by a March 16 deadline in compliance with government
regulations, a company spokesman said on Monday.
Weibo, which operates like Twitter and allows users to post
short messages and gather followers, has more than 250 million
users, who often use it to vent about topics China's government
deems sensitive such as corruption and the status of Taiwan.
In December, the Beijing city government issued rules giving
microblog operators based in the city, which include Sina, three
months to ensure users register their real identities.
Users must link their mobile phone numbers to their Weibo
account and only those verified will be allowed to post
messages. Sina has said the regulations would hurt the platform.
"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.
China has repeatedly criticised microblogs for spreading
what it calls unfounded rumours. The country blocks social
networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, citing the need
to maintain social stability.