Website operators in China are now facing more strict controls.
Since December last year, individuals have been barred from registering a .cn website domain.
On Tuesday, state-run media reported that Chinas Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had lifted the ban. But individuals wanting to set up a website are now required to meet with Internet service providers and regulators, and submit their identity cards. They also must have their photo taken.
Regulators say the measures are aimed at stamping out online pornography and violence. But critics, like Reporters Without Borders, say these are just steps to further control freedom of expression on the Internet.
Webmasters have also been voicing their concerns. Most complain about the cost involved with complying with the new measures. Others fear they will be forced to stop running their personal websites.
These new rules apply to domestic .cn web domains. Some experts believe that more Chinese will now try to register for overseas .com domains instead.