To clean up the online environment and rein in rumormongers, the State Internet Information Office, China’s cyberspace watchdog, issued a rule targeting instant messaging tools. The rule contains 10 articles, major provisions of which include: • Instant messaging tool applicants must provide their real identities when they register accounts, and online service providers are required to protect the information. • People or departments that want to open public accounts on instant messaging platforms must be registered with the country’s Internet management and supervision authorities. • Media and their websites are allowed to open public accounts to publish and forward political news, while some non-journalism institutes with online news and information service licenses can also do that. • Unlicensed public accounts are banned from publishing or forwarding political news. • Governmental departments, enterprises and institutions are encouraged to open public accounts, and to provide related services to the public. • For those breaching the rules, instant messaging providers and operators should give a warning, restrict related posts or, in serious cases, close accounts. Alleged illegal information can be stored while being reported to the government.