To say the least, the use of the internet is very restrictive in China. The Chinese people do not have access to what other regions enjoy as the government has blocked access to popular websites such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter, to name a few. Instead, the Chinese have native alternatives such as Weibo, their form of Twitter, WeChat that takes on WhatsApp and is even prepping a Wikipedia rival. It is such actions that lack the basis of originality that have made the country popular in cloning stuff. There is no shortage of services or pieces of tech from China that ape existing products, although it does not mean that their solutions are inferior in any way. My point is that they have cloning experience like no other nation. Very prolific. The Picasso of look-alikes.
It seems like China will go a notch higher in its pursuit to deny its people the chance to get access to sites that have been banned in the country. Ideally, several regions do not have access to certain websites and apps. Fortunately, it is not an impediment for some people thanks to the existence of virtual private networks (VPNs). Need access to Google services (which are blocked in China)? A VPN got your back. The list goes on and on.
A 2018 deadline, specifically in February, will see operators block personal access to VPNs. While it is not official, yet, the government directive will see complete inaccessibility of global internet.
According to Bloomberg, people who are well-versed with the situation say that Beijing has told carriers run by the state, which are China Telecom, China Unicorn as well as China Mobile to block people from using VPN. Why? China wants to enhance its ‘cyber-sovereignty’. Perhaps, it is part of the government’s plant to ensure social stability, in addition to patching loopholes in its Great Firewall that blocks the aforementioned websites.
VPNs are used by thousands of non-Chinese people who conduct business in the Asian country. While it has not been established what will happen to such businesses, the sheer operation of VPNs in any other country has never been fully discussed and dismantled. However, there is a good chance that businesses that operate in China will have access to leased lines to browse the global web – but they have to register VPN usage according to set regulations.