VPN for China

  • Hello All,

    I am planning a trip to China next month.

    I can read that VPN are needed: (link removed by moderato) this is pretty scary actually according to what they say about internet situation in China !

    It is mentioned two VPN that seems to have good speed and reliable.

    Shall i order a VPN before traveling to China or can i order once i am there? I've heard websites VPN are blocked there but i am not sure.

  • VPN won't work there, so don't bother.

    Also, why did you (mis)type "link removed by moderato"? There was no link when I approved the post, and my spelling is better than that. 😛

  • China is officially shutting down access to all personal VPNs. After February 2018, any Chinese Internet service provider will be legally required to block all personal users' access to VPNs:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-10/china-is-said-to-order-carriers-to-bar-personal-vpns-by-february

    China is already cracking down in various ways on VPNs, and that pressure will only increase in coming weeks.

    Wisdom would dictate that you shouldn't pick a fight with their repression unless you are both expert in covert communication techniques and willing/able to pay whatever price if caught for breaking their censorship rules while in-country. (Note: they are very serious about this.)

  • Actually, they claim they are not shutting down personal VPNs, only those that are not "registered". Which brings me to this...

    Unless I’m mistaken, Opera was purchased by a consortium of Chinese tech companies. And since the Chinese love to say that VPN’s are not illegal in China, and that they are allowed through registered companies… I’m curious as to why the VPN feature does not work in China. Do you mean to tell me that this consortium that was able to pull together billions to buy Opera, is somehow not stable enough to register this VPN service?

    That whole thing was a bit sarcastic, as well as a bit serious. Obviously the people running the company realize that westerners wouldn’t be too happy about a VPN registered with the Chinese government, as that would require their access to it. And with that we realize the idiocy of the claims that VPNs are “legal” in China.

    But it does suck to sit here in China and have to deal with not only their government's lies, but the propagation of those lies through companies that purchased Opera.

  • Wrong Opera. Opera's advertising business was purchased by that Chinese consortium, the browser was not. Technically different companies.

  • . Opera's advertising business was purchased by that Chinese consortium, the browser was not.

    Wasn't the other way around? The padt that makes the browsers was acquitted by the Chineses while Adworks, SurfEasy, etc weren't.

  • Anyway, although its new owners are Chinese, Opera is still a Norwegian company.

  • Actually, they claim they are not shutting down personal VPNs, only those that are not "registered". ...

    An external VPN company registering with the Chinese government would have to agree to give user access information and intercept capability to the Chinese government, regarding users within China. That would necessarily include the encryption keys for the connections as well as the ability to insert Chinese government-controlled servers into the chain of connection - which would thus include the ability to inject the Great Firewall into the user's VPN pathway. The result is a man-in-the-middle network structure with the Chinese government sitting in that middle.

    The most likely strategy for an external VPN company, if there were any willing to do it, would be to farm out the Chinese market region to a registered local Chinese VPN company by routing the initial Chinese-originated traffic through the registered Chinese company's VPN servers. Regardless, the net result is that VPNs in China will no longer be virtual "private" networks... hence, it's arguable that genuine VPNs are indeed being shut down in China, for all intents and purposes.

  • I'm sure some people must work from home there as here, so there must be VPNs that stay totally in China which the government probably doesn't care about. No relation to Opera though.

  • I'm sure some people must work from home there as here, so there must be VPNs that stay totally in China which the government probably doesn't care about. No relation to Opera though.

    Perhaps. But given that it's a top-down surveillance society, there would be 2 governmental concerns: what folks were viewing from outside China, and what folks were possibly saying to one another domestically over the wires. Consequently, it's hard to imagine the government wouldn't provide for the capability of having a finger in the pie whether a registered VPN was international or domestic-only in scope.

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