Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) chief engineer Zhang Feng said VPN operators must be licensed by the
government, and that unlicensed VPNs are the target of new rules which
come into force on March 31."We want to regulate VPNs which unlawfully
conduct cross-border operational activities,” Zhang told reporters on
“Any foreign companies that want to set up a cross-border operation for private use will need to set up a dedicated line for that purpose,”
he said. “They will be able to lease such a line or network legally from
the telecommunications import and export bureau.”“This shouldn’t affect
their normal operations much at all,” he said.
Meanwhile, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said it had carried out a recent survey of U.S. companies in the country that showed
that the inability to access certain online tools, internet censorship,
and cybersecurity were impeding their operations.VPN download
Around one billion people in China had access to 4G mobile internet services last year, an increase of 76.4 percent compared with the
previous year, the MIIT said.According to Zhang, overall mobile internet
and data usage also surged by 26.7 percent in 2017.
An internet user surnamed Zeng told RFA that the new regulations could also hit any Chinese businesses that need unimpeded communications
with the outside world.
“I have a friend who is a businessman, and makes things mainly for export, and this has already affected his order book,” Zeng said. “He
usually uses WhatsApp to communicate [with customers] and now it’s very
hard to log on, and this has really affected business.”
He added: “In future, he won’t be able to log on at all, so he told me he will likely have to shut down his factory.”Internet user A Biao
said the Great Firewall will continue to put huge limitations on what
ordinary internet users in mainland China may do or see online.
“You can’t read truthful, objective and balanced information in a timely manner,” he said. “If you have an overseas phone, you can get
online without going via the Great Firewall, but that’s pretty difficult
to get hold of, so there are limitations to that approach.”When comes
to the issue of online privacy and security, we suggest to use a VPN,
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