The cyberspace administration in northwestern Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province is requiring websites and some social media accounts to be registered with local authorities.
A directive said personal users of microblogging platform Sina Weibo needed to be registered if they had IDs issued by authorities in Xi'an, often lived in the city, and had more than 30,000 followers. Organizations who had more than 50,000 followers on the platform and were based in the city also needed to register.
Websites, internet forums and public accounts of mobile app WeChat also needed to be registered if they were run by companies, organizations or departments under the Xi'an city administration.
The registration process for both individuals and organizations needed to be completed by August 15. Details of those who failed to comply with the order would be made public, and users could be contacted and possibly face fines or be shut down.
Authorities in Xi'an, one of China's most famous tourist destinations, provided no explanation for the new rule, which had become a hot topic for discussion online.