China has come down even more heavy handed software that allows people to leap over the Great Firewall and access what lies beyond its borders. Beginning July 1st, VPN provider GreenVPN has stopped providing service in the country. Both Android and Apple app stores have also stopped allowing users to downloads VPNs.
Hong Kong’s English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, reported on July 3rd that VPNs are very popular in China, due to the fact that so much information, from news, videos and politics to porn, is censored by the government as it is seen as unacceptable. For many Chinese internet users, VPNs are the sole key that grants them access to Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times, all of which are blocked by the government’s massive cyber-wall. The cessation of service by GreenVPN, has only made accessing the outside digital world all the more difficult for Chinese netizens.
GreenVPN released a “Cessation of Service Announcement” on June 22nd, the subject line of which read, “Our Meeting Was Brief, and the Future Indefinite” (相遇有时，后会无期). The announcement stated that they had received a notice from supervisors and would regretfully have to discontinue service as of July 1st 2017. For GreenVPN, unfortunately, this not only means issuing an apology, but also processing refunds for all those users whose VPN access was cut short. GreenVPN will have to transition to a different business model.
It is worth mentioning that in a piece for the Wall Street Journal written on June 8th, former editor of state-controlled news outlet Xinhua, Yuan Li, stated that China is bolstering the ramparts of the Great Firewall, that there are enough websites within reach of Mainlanders and that Mainlanders have no pressing desire to surpass the Great Firewall to use websites like Google, Youtube, Facebook, etc.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a notification as early as January 22nd asserting that all tunnels, proxies and VPNs used for professional purposes must be ratified by the telecommunications department.
Another Hong Kong media outlet has reported that following policy implementations on July 1st, many VPN providers have already been removed from the app store.
How do you feel about the VPN crackdown? What brought it about? Do Mainlanders, as Yuan Li claims, have no need for VPN access for personal use? Let us know in the comments below.
The year just gone was packed with happenings, big and small, in China. Some were good, but a whole lot were bad. Let’s have a look at China’s big news events of 2017.
The Chinese website of Marriott International has been shut down and an employee sacked after two incidences of the hotel chain “disrespecting China’s sovereignty”.
Good news for non-Chinese readers who get lost easily. Google Maps are available in China again!
International tourists transiting through Beijing can now enjoy visa-free stopovers of up to six days.
US coffee giants Starbucks is opening a new store in China every 15 hours.
Much of China’s table tissues and toilet paper do not meet minimum safety standards, according to a government-led survey.
The housing market is slowing down. Properties in China have little to no real worth and the country has too many houses, yet people have stashed their entire life savings into the market and have nowhere else to go. The last thing the government wants is someone from outside China writing about such things for an authoritative and credible source which could result in people noticing that the scenario was caused by the government and businesspeople in China's greed, corruption and ineptitude. They need an echo chamber that can drown out any rational and sensible claims which will undermine the nationalism that the government will have to set off to distract everyone from the fact that they were stupid enough to buy a concrete box with a lifespan of about 15 years for a 70 year nominal lease which is funded by a 30 year loan which compounds and the rate is likely to rise also. Tulip Mania 2 is what this is.
Jul 06, 2017 20:32 Report Abuse
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