Beijing: China has tightened Internet controls with new rules that require users to register their real names and barring online material that challenges the country’s political system.

The rules issued on Wednesday follow what technology companies say are official efforts to block use of virtual private networks to circumvent Chinese Internet filters.

The new rules apply to blogs, online discussion forums and other forums that allow Chinese to express themselves in public in a society in which all media are state-controlled.

The rules say Internet companies are required to confirm the identities of their users. It says users that post material deemed to challenge state power or national unity will lose their accounts.