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China Will Block All VPNs by February 2018

The Chinese government wants complete control over what its citizens are allowed to view on the Internet. That's why the Great Firewall exists, and why many services we enjoy in the west can't be accessed from within China. But the Great Firewall is far from perfect, and a big thorn in its side is the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

The state has been attempting to clamp down on the use of VPNs by individuals for some time, but their use is still widespread. Last year Fang Binxing, known as the father of the Great Firewall, publicly used a VPN to bypass his own creation and in so doing caused embarrassment.

According to Bloomberg, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, have been given a deadline of February 1, 2018 by which time all VPN connections must be blocked. In doing so, Twitter, Facebook, and Google services will be completely off limits, as will many more China disapproves of.

As well as the demands put on ISPs in the country, the Ministry of Industry and Information technology plans to clamp down on unauthorized VPNs operating within China. Businesses can continue to operate them, but only internally.

Whether the government is capable of achieving its goal of no VPN use is unclear, but one thing is for sure, using a VPN will become much more difficult in China next year. Anyone visiting should assume many services will be unavailable and plan for that.

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According to Jake Parker, vice president of the US-China Business Council, the focus is on individuals using VPNs and not businesses. That's because, "In the past, any effort to cut off internal corporate VPNs has been enough to make a company think about closing or reducing operations in China. It's that big a deal."

Without access to very popular services from the likes of Facebook and Google there is a hole left, but one that many Chinese companies will be more than happy to fill with alternate, China-specific services.

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One comment

  1. No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she wants to be available that in detail,
    thus that thing is maintained over here.

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