Nov 152010
 November 15, 2010  Posted by  Non-U.S.

Liu Chang, Zhao Hejuan and Shen Hu report:

Buying a fruit knife in Guangzhou? A new rule says you’ll have to register your personal data with authorities before leaving the shop.

A knife-buying registration requirement was introduced for security reasons to coincide with the 2010 Asian Games, which recently opened in Guangzhou. Anyone buying any sort of cutting instrument must now write his or her full name, address and identification number, as well as describe the knife and its intended use, on an official Guangzhou Knife Sale Registration Form.

And this shopping ritual is neither restricted to Guangzhou nor limited to knives. In recent years, cities and provinces across China have adopted so-called “real-name” systems designed to track all sorts of consumer behavior, from equities buying to online gaming. Several major, real-name registration systems have been implemented in the past year alone.

Real-name systems for China’s financial sector have been around for more than a decade. The first launched in April 2000 said bank deposit account holders had to use real names. Similar identity rulebooks were soon written to cover owners of stocks, bonds and other securities.


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