China Sees a Sharp Increase in VPN Use Despite Growing Internet Restrictions

Feb 23, 2024 - Views: 80

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According to IT education news site Techopedia, China saw a notable increase in Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage last year, almost tripling in spite of the country's strict internet regulations. 

This surge in VPN usage is occurring despite the nation's infamous "Great Firewall," which is among the most extensive internet restriction policies in the world.

Many foreign websites, online games, and major news organizations are blocked by the "Great Firewall," including well-known websites like Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia, and VOA. 

VPNs, which are prohibited in China, give users a way around the Great Firewall's limitations and safely access the internet while hiding their IP addresses.

VPN usage soars in China amid escalating internet restrictions

VPN usage soars in China amid escalating internet restrictions

Even while using a VPN in violation of the law might have serious consequences, experts predict that further government restrictions on internet use could either encourage VPN use or discourage it altogether, depending on how China's censorship policies change over time.

Senior analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies Antonia Hmaidi suggests that rather than implementing complete crackdowns, China may choose to implement more indirect measures like increasing the difficulty of using VPNs, slowing down all connections made outside of the nation, or keeping a list of fast connections that are authorized for use by businesses.

These actions will probably have an impact on how China's internet access and censorship are shaped in the future.

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