Military news

China's army relaxes rules on smartphone and internet usage

2018-04-16 08:00:00 (Beijing Time)         CGTN

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The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has revealed updated guidelines on how soldiers should use smartphones and the internet as part of the latest rule revision of China's military forces.

Mobile phones can now be used during personal time, leave and holidays, while the previous requirement for higher-level permission has been lifted.

"Mobile phones" refers to phones on the civil cellular network which is separate from the military network.

Soldiers will have to register their real names to use phones, a rule that is already applied nationwide.

The registration for soldiers requires not only basic information like name, position in the army and phone number but also details like phone model, WeChat account and QQ number.

On the Internet side, the army says soldiers should not give sensitive data to service providers, including social networks, new media platforms and online shopping websites.

"The soldiers are eager to know how the army will protect their right to access information. And we know clearly how important the mobile network is to the modern world," a senior military official told Xinhua.

"Now we have loosened some bans while putting more things under control, making it more practical."

These changes are part of a larger revision of the army's basic rules, which was signed by its leader Xi Jinping and will take effect on May 1.