China moved to tighten its grip on the flow of Internet information this Tuesday, saying individuals who want to operate Websites must first receive approval from regulators.

The Chines Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that the measures were designed to tackle online pornography, but activists are saying its censorship.

In the new scheme, anyone wanting to setup a website would have to submit their identification and photos of themselves, as well as meet with regulators in person before sites would be accepted.

The program replaces action taken in December where all registrations were effectively frozen.

China has the world's biggest online population, with 384 million Internet users. It also has the world's most extensive system of Web monitoring and filtering, blocking pornographic sites and sites that it deems objectionable.

These restrictions come as the government is engages in new talks with US-based Google, which last month accused China of sponsoring cyber-attacks against it, and other US companies.

In response, Google said it would no longer comply with China's censorship rules, though neither side has given updates on the talks.

Chinese authorities have launched repeated crackdowns on online pornography and the government says nearly 5,400 people were detained last year.