Days after the Chinese state agreed to lighten up on Internet rules – persuading bloggers to reveal their true identities rather than forcing them – it has come up with a new way of policing Internet usage. From this weekend, cartoon policemen will pop on to a user's screen and warn them to keep their browsing legal – every half an hour.
The cybercops will go live on 13 of the country's portals from 1 September and will appear on all Web sites registered on Beijing servers.
The cartoon characters will appear on the user's browser and either walk, bike or drive across the screen while issuing their warnings about illegal content.
If a user is worried about any potentially-illegal content, he can simply click on the animated policeman to be directed to the official police Web site.