Chinese search giant Baidu announced yesterday that it will fully implement a real name registration starting next month, in a bid to tighten its grip on its online forum and cloud storage services.

When registering a new account, Baidu users must provide a mobile phone number linked to a Chinese ID in order to complete registration starting on June 1. Access to Baidu’s various services including Baidu Cloud cloud storage space (百度云盘) and Baidu Tieba discussion forums (百度贴吧) will be disabled if users fail to do so.

Baidu has long ago encouraged users to tie a mobile number to their account but has not made it mandatory until now. The move is seen as a response to the recent release of the amended Management Regulations on Internet News Information Service by the country’s Internet regulator, which bans Internet information service providers from providing services for users who refuse to disclose their real names and information.

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Sheila Yu

Sheila Yu is a Shanghai-based technology writer. She brings readers the biggest news from Chinese language tech media. Reach her at sheila@technode.com.