China Cracks Down Further On VPNs

The Chinese government has taken further steps to stop the use of VPNs in the country. At the beginning of July, they ordered the popular GreenVPN to halt operations. Now, state-run telecom companies such as China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telcom have been told by authorities that they need to block access to all VPNs by the first of February 2018. VPNs are used by internet users in the country who want to get around the strict internet policies in China, and work by accessing sites via networks in other locations. President Xi launched a nationwide “cyber-sovereignty” campaign earlier this year, in order to crackdown on dissent and public access to the worldwide internet. Jake Parker, the Beijing-based vice-president of the US-China Business Council to Bloomberg, said that this most recent move seems to be targeted at individuals, but could also impact businesses who use the technology. He added that it could be enough to “make a company think about closing or reducing operations in China”.