You Can Now Get Fined for Using a VPN in China

By That's, March 30, 2017

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Web users in Chongqing may want to think twice about switching on their VPNs, as the city's security authorities have just announced strict rules on connecting to the Internet.

The new rules stipulate that individual users and companies can be fined up to RMB15,000 if they're caught using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access blocked websites.

READ MORE: China Cracking Down on Unauthorized VPNs

The regulations were announced earlier this week, though Chongqing authorities say they came into effect in July 2016 and are valid through 2021. Previously, only companies could be charged with fines.

Violators of the rules will be ordered to terminate their internet connection and receive a warning. Additionally, anyone who uses VPNs to make a profit of more than RMB5,000 could be fined anywhere from RMB5,000 to 15,000. 

Some speculate that similar measures could soon be rolled out across the rest of the country.

Back in January, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced that it would launch a series of rules aimed at regulating the Internet access services sector and cracking down on 'illegal' or 'unlicensed' business activity.

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