Bloomberg is reporting that the Chinese government has ordered telecoms companies to ban all VPNs in the country from next year.
They have information from inside sources, who have declined to be named, saying that the three main state-run companies will block all VPNs by the beginning of February 2018.
VPNs are commonly used in China as a way of viewing the internet as they bypass government censorship which restricts access to many sites including Facebook.
The news follows on from the closure by the authorities of GreenVPN, one of China’s most popular VPN providers.
Of course, this information should be treated as speculation at this stage and whether it actually goes ahead could be anyone’s guess. Something else that seems unclear is whether the government is targeting businesses or individuals with the move.
Targeting businesses could be risky as it may put off tech companies from basing their operations in the country due the fact that they wouldn’t be able to access the whole worldwide web or some of the services that are available through it.
Jake Parker, VP of the US-China Business Council, told Bloomberg that: “VPNs are incredibly important for companies trying to access global services outside of China.”
He added: “In the past, any effort to cut off internal corporate VPNs has been enough to make a company think about closing or reducing operations in China. It’s that big a deal.”
It is likely that we will know shortly if the report is accurate or not but in the meantime, we advise anyone looking to visit China in the near future to investigate the best VPNs in the country so that they can continue to access the mainstream web.