China maintains a tight grip on the internet in its country. VPNs are used to bypass such restrictions and access the open internet but they’re not allowed in the country. To that end, Google has been banning ads for VPN products that target users in China.
VPN and online proxies aren’t welcome in the country. Corporations are allowed use but the VPN companies that operate in the country are required to receive an authorization from the Chinese government. The government has previously forced Apple to remove all VPN apps from its App Store in China almost two years ago.
“It is currently Google Ads policy to disallow promoting VPN services in China, due to local legal restrictions,” the company said in an email. The email was sent by Google to a website which provides reviews of different VPN services. It says that Google did not allow them to place search ads for the Chinese version of its site.
Google’s email added that there is “no certification or approval process” for the issue which means that there’s no other way for the website to get permission to serve those ads in China. What remains unclear is whether this ad ban for VPN products is a result of a decision that Google made itself or upon a request from officials in China.