China Making it Harder for VPN Users

Posted by Greg | March 14, 2011  |  No Comment

It seems that many users of the VPN provider Witopia (one of my personal favorites) have been having problems using the service in China. So many users have been reporting problems in fact that the company is recommending they report problems via e-mail instead of its live support service.

There have always been issues with using VPNs in China, ranging from brief interruptions to extremely reduced speeds. This problem is different however because of the number of people it’s affected, including yours truly. Friends and colleagues of mine have complained of problems, and many have been forced to sign up for new services to complete work related to social media like Facebook and Twitter (which are both blocked).

Li Wufeng, chief of the Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau of China’s ruling State Council had this to say:

Services offered in China must be provided by licensed operators and there have never been any issues involving the access of legitimate VPN services that are used by companies to enhance security.

Basically only VPNs that connect to local servers are not at risk, but any that allow access to the other side of the GFW (Great Firewall) are. I’ve been getting by with some of the other VPN services I use such as Skydur, Astrill, and 12VPN, but those services may begin to have issues soon as well…you never know. Let’s just hope that this interruption to daily life here in China doesn’t last for too long.

Sources: Bloomberg via CDT





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