China Increases Censorship – VPN Services Are Now Blocked



In line with the ‘cyber sovereignty’ that they are trying to achieve, China is known to have blocked access to 135 top websites out of 1000.

China Increases Censorship

This is infamously called the Great Firewall of China, preventing Chinese and foreigners living there from gaining access to popular sites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. However, Chinese authorities have increased their hold on censorship – they have also blocked virtual private network (VPN) services from its users.

VPN services are a stealthy way to dodge China’s online restriction. A VPN lets a user bypass geo-restrictions and firewalls, and encrypts the computer’s IP address to provide the user online anonymity.

Users have reported a disruption in the paid VPN services that they are using during the National People’s Congress and China’s main political advisory body meeting.  Some of the providers with blocked services are Astrill, Strongvpn, Golden Frog, Cloud Ark VPN, and ExpressVPN.

VPN Services Are Now Blocked

            While most users have complained because of their instant loss in posting photos on social media sites, video streaming on YouTube, and playing online games, they are not the only ones who are mostly affected by this. Foreigners, especially businessmen, have said that this increased measure has affected their business and day-to-day life.

The Chinese government blocks websites which contain politically sensitive issues to prevent their users from obtaining it. VPN services were the solution for people who wanted to access the blocked sites, but since VPNs are also blocked, they are left with fewer access to websites. But the government says that they did this measure ‘for safety’.

Although VPN services were blocked on mobile phones, China hasn’t restricted the use of VPNs in large companies, which are of greater use compared to normal users. So far, Google-based business tools have also been blocked.

Xiao Qiang, a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information, said, “China is in the middle of a very ferocious power struggle or political cleansing under the name of an anti-corruption campaign. “That to me is a very clearly related fact with the amount of political rumors and information related to China’s high politics showing up in websites outside of China.”

Despite the restrictions, some VPN providers are trying to restore access to their servers in China. This is to address the complaints of many users who are paying for VPN services – whether normal internet users or small-sized foreign companies.


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