China Tells VPN Service Providers to Get Approval to Operate

By Coco Feng

(Beijing) — China has announced a crackdown on unlicensed internet connection services, including virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow many internet users to bypass the country’s online firewall.

Telecom and internet service providers offering VPN services or dedicated data channels to businesses now require prior government approval, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement on Sunday. The rule, which came into effect immediately, has made most VPN services “illegal” overnight. The “rectification campaign” will run until March 2018, according to the notice.

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