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Why are VPN services banned in China and what to do about it?

Not so long ago, VPN services were banned in China. Yes, yes, now using a VPN is considered a crime. Thank you to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Of course, all the people of China who used VPN services to access various blocked sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on) did not get any easier on this.

What is behind all this?

Since VPN services interfere with the national Internet connection, all VPN services must be registered with the appropriate authorities. And this is not just that, this is all the statement of the Ministry of Industry of China . The new rules governing the operation of VPN services and cable channels will come into force on February 1, 2018.

In China, they took a vector to work with companies that provide VPN services to Chinese citizens. The last time Chinese users of VPN services made life difficult in March 2016.

In the media of China (South China Morning Post) and not only (for example, in the Washington Post) more than once, there were reports that in China there are many “legal” VPN services. They belong to state-owned companies that allow those (usually banks and law firms) to legally circumvent the Great Firewall, the largest and most complex censorship system in China. Of course, not for free.

The government ordered three state-owned telecom operators, namely China Mobile (860 million subscribers), China Unicom (268 million subscribers) and China Telecom (227 million subscribers) to block companies operating in mainland China without a leased network access channel.

Bans and problems

Chinese government controll most of the worldwide network accessible to Chinese citizens. Accordingly, the ability to use VPN services undermines their mission to achieve “cyber sovereignty.” We can say that the Chinese government has banned VPN services because the Internet has become a battleground for political (and not only) parties.

And if the Chinese Ministry of Industry closes all loopholes. Then Chinese citizens will no longer be able to access even simple, non-political blocked sites. And that means no more Facebook or Twitter, no more international news sites (like The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal). All this will be blocked, cut off by the Great Chinese Firewall.

If you are doing business in China you need VPN services. Their prohibition is likely to hurt the quality of work of both the company and its employees. For example, environmental researchers using Google Docs to work with colleagues will suffer from the prohibition of VPN services, concert tour organizers in Shanghai, working with foreign artists, and many others will suffer.


Global trend?

China’s economy is closely linked to the economies of other countries, and this is partly due to VPN services. They protect communication channels, they provide access to global information resources, they are used by Chinese companies working outside this country to protect their data and communicate safely with foreign branches.

The Chinese government decided to remove all VPN applications from the Apple and Android app stores, but the negative effect of this decision will not only be economic. Everyone who uses VPN services now will suffer! Also, this ban will hurt scientists, software developers and foreign companies.

Because of the Great Chinese Firewall, it is difficult for users with Chinese IP addresses to access the sites of foreign scientific publications, and it’s even more difficult for them to contact foreign universities. All this, of course, impedes the globalization of China.

The Chinese government has blocked a variety of sites. The list includes media, services, search engines, media portals, work tools, and porn sites. Almost all significant, important sites in China are blocked. Without them, they are unlikely to be able to access Google+, Wikipedia, and many other popular resources.

What’s next?

You can get around this ban if you switch to another VPN service or find an IP address that has not yet reached the Chinese blacklists. Also, you can always start your VPN server. Which will provide you with a unique IP address. guaranteed not to be blocked in China. Also, many VPN services allow their customers to change port numbers. Two types of ports are typically used, TCP 80 and TCP 443. Using TOR, you can also surf the Internet anonymously.

To summarize. Alas, China have outlawed VPN services . But we, the vpnMentor site team, strongly believe in network neutrality. Many VPN services share our faith. If you are travelling to China, it makes sense to pre-subscribe to the VPN service, which works there. If you are already in China, then do not be discouraged – you can still bypass the blocking of VPN services. Also, we have prepared for you a list of the best VPN services operating in China.

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