China is host to the world’s strictest internet censorship. It achieves an almost country-wide grip on its millions of internet users by restricting access to popular websites like Wikipedia, Facebook, Youtube, and countless other sites that are used frequently around the world. Chinese users have restricted access to worldwide events or sensitive subjects deemed “inappropriate” by the government.
It’s not as simple as just “flipping a switch” either. China uses deep packet inspection and it works with government-controlled internet service providers through its country-wide internet firewall to root out users trying to get around blocks, and it costs them billions of dollars each year to do this. So when the Chinese government knows that people are still getting access to the websites and services they want, they aren’t happy.
This is why the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has just announced a 14-month “clean up” of internet access services which includes VPNs. These new regulations require VPN providers to obtain government approval before operating within China. Operating a VPN service provider in China without permission is now strictly prohibited. The clean-up starts now and runs through March 31,2018. It is important to note that these directives don’t make it illegal for Chinese consumers to use VPNs.
While the majority of VPNs don’t work in China since the great firewall can root out VPN use, TorGuard uses Stealth VPN technology and a Stealth proxy to obfuscate VPN traffic to appear as normal traffic. TorGuard offers a variety of Stealth connection options to bypass China’s VPN blocks including: OpenVPN obfuscation, Shadowsocks proxies, Cisco AnyConnect, and SSH tunnels.
Earlier this month, China forced Apple to pull the New York Times from the app store in China, which sets a precedent for the possibility of mass app-removal in the Chinese app store. Previously users could still use apps to access certain content–even if the websites were blocked.
Even with this removal, you can still access apps like the New York Times in China– it just requires a bit of technical know-how that a majority of Chinese users may not explore. Simply launch your VPN, change your app store location to the US, make another “US based” apple account, and you can download any apps you want.
Whereas Chinese censorship was already strict, this VPN clean-up seems to be a scary indication of the future–since the Cyberspace Administration of China has recently pledged loyalty to the newly appointed Communist Party leadership headed by President Xi Jinping on January 5th.
A statement was issued by the party that one priority would be to cultivate a more government controlled internet environment, ““conducive to a successful 19th party congress”.
How to buy TorGuard VPN in China?
All of TorGuard’s domains have been blocked within China for quite some time, so how does one sign up behind the great firewall? TorGuard maintains a list of alternative sign up domain names that are currently unblocked in China at the time of this writing. Chinese consumers can register through one of our unblocked domains and gain access to all of TorGuard’s VPN utilities. (Just ask our live chat for access to backup domains.)
If you are unable to access any of TorGuard’s backup domains, you can sign up easily through email! For manual signup contact cn [at] torguard.tg and you will receive an unblocked invoice link to pay with Credit Card, Alipay, UnionPay, TenPay, Telco Cards, and popular Game cards.