By Ian Swanson - 12/22/09 09:38 PM EST
A report by Beijing News said the new rules could mean that all web sites, including those based outside China, would have to register with the Chinese government in order to be seen in China.
Given that China is the most dynamic economy on the planet, that would have a huge impact on thousands of businesses.
It could also have an impact on political freedom in China, a constant source of criticism for members of Congress.
During his recent trip to China, President Barack Obama called on the government to promote Internet freedom. The government has blocked the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in a country with 350 million Internet users.
Several media reports say China aims to create a “white list” of sites that would be registered with the government.
The new rules come months after China backed away from plans to demand that all computers in China be loaded with an Internet-filtering softward. That demand sparked criticism from politicians and businesses around the world.
In the case of the filtering software, China also said it was motivated to stop pornography.