Are VPNs About to Get Banned in China?

By That's, June 29, 2017

2 0

You've likely got a VPN App (or two) on your phone to help visit inaccessible websites in China like Facebook and Instagram. But starting next month, they might be impossible to use.

According to rumors circulating online this week, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) will be completely removed from Apple and Android's Chinese app markets by July 1, 2017. 

The rumors started swirling on social media recently after popular VPN provider Green announced that it would cease operations on July 1. A post on Green's website said that the company had received "notice from the higher authorities," which indicates the shutdown is mandatory.

READ MORE: Why VPN Apps Might Actually Be Dangerous for Your Phone (And Privacy)

Netizens have noted that several other VPN services, including Netfits, VPN Master Pro, Ponhon, Snap VPN and SkyX have disappeared from the app stores in recent months.

If the rumors are indeed true, then this is just the latest in a string of measures indicating a wider crackdown on VPN usage throughout the country.

Back in January, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) launched a series of rules aimed at regulating the Internet access services sector and cracking down on 'illegal' or 'unlicensed' business activity. Among the regulations is one which prevents domestic telecom companies and Internet service providers from setting up special lines such as VPNs without prior government approval.

And in March, Chongqing authorities announced strict rules stipulating that individual users and companies could be fined up to RMB15,000 if they were caught using a VPN. Some speculated that similar measures could soon be rolled out across the rest of the country.

more news

China May Scrap its Two-Child Policy This Year

The book may be closed completely on the 40-year-long social experiment.

WATCH: Plates Fly in Frenzied Restaurant Brawl in South China

Dim sum and crockery flew as two sets of rival diners went head-to-head.

Brain Damage to US Government Worker in China Triggers Official Alert

A US government worker in Guangzhou recently experienced abnormal "sound and pressure perception" resulting in "mild traumatic brain injury."

China Launches Mission to the Far Side of the Moon

It's a giant leap for China's space program.

Outback Steakhouse Abruptly Closes All Branches in China

It's a sad day for steak lovers living in Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

China's Most XXX-Rated Sex Scandals of 2017

We've counted down China's biggest sex scandals of 2017.

China's Most XXX-Rated Sex Scandals of 2016

We've counted down China's biggest sex scandals of 2016.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.