Internet users who make defamatory comments which are visited by 5,000 users or reposted more than 500 times could face up to three years prison life.


Anyone who posts information that leads to protests or ethnic unrest could also face prosecution.


These rules appear part of an official campaign to stop "online rumors".


The maximum sentence for defamation in China is three years.


A court spokesman was quoted by Reuter’s news agency as saying that society was "demanding with punishment by the law for using the internet to spread rumors and defame people”. “No country would consider the slander of other people as 'freedom of speech', 


The new guidelines are clearly a way to crack down or control general online views.


In recent weeks, the authorities had a number of journalists arrested for "rumor-mongering" and a high-profile blogger arrested.


Last month, a high-profile Chinese-American blogger was detained by Beijing authorities for hiring prostitutes for "sex parties".、


In another case, four people were also arrested for” incited dissatisfaction with the government" by spreading rumors about a "hero" used in various propaganda posters.

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