China’s great firewall keeps the internet experience in the country in check. The authorities have control over what can and can not make it through the Great Firewall. VPN services have long enabled users to find a way around the wall but that may prove to be difficult next year. China is reportedly going to block all virtual private networks or VPNs by 2018.

Bloomberg reports that the country is going to drop the ban hammer on all VPNs in the country next year. The government’s ban on VPNs appears to be a part of President Xi Jinping’s “cyber sovereignty” campaign. It seems that the country is finally getting serious about closing the loopholes around its Great Firewall.

The country’s government reportedly told state-run telecom companies to start blocking VPNs by February 1st, 2018. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has previously announced that all VPN services will have to obtain approval from the government first.

While this is going to impact how the country’s population uses the internet, it remains to be seen if this move is also going to impact businesses and corporates who actively rely on VPNs to work around these filters and also to keep their data secure.

The country’s largest telecom service providers, including China Mobile and China Unicom, have yet to give their reaction on this. However, it’s most likely that they’ll just follow through on what the administration tells them to.

Filed in Web. Read more about China and VPN.

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