Popular VPN application NordVPN has reminded us that "since 31 March, China has officially banned non-state sanctioned VPNs", which has left "businesses and Internet users waiting anxiously for the ban to take effect".
Thus, while the ban is apparently not being actively enforced yet, we're told that "there is not much information yet from the Chinese authorities about how and when exactly the ban will be implemented".
Marty Kamden, chief marketing officer of NordVPN, was quick with a comment, stating: "We understand the concern of local and international businesses in China, as well as the needs of scholars, scientists, students and others who vitally need VPNs to freely access the World Wide Web.
As NordVPN explains, "China’s Great Firewall is an enormous effort by the Chinese government to control the Internet".
Now, as a paid VPN provider, it should come as no surprise to see Nord explaining VPNs as "allowing companies and individuals to securely access websites that are blocked in China, including Google, Facebook, many news sites, and other social media sites and search engines".
NordVPN reminds us that "the new Chinese regulations ban anyone from using VPNs that are not approved by the government," but that "businesses have reported that so far there had been no announcements from authorities about the ban and they were concerned about the lack of information".
And of course, NordVPN states that many people "wonder if independent VPNs they have been using will still work".
Here, Kamden says that: “NordVPN is working in China with no problems.
“We plan to continue these operations, and we are constantly looking for workarounds in China so that people can freely enjoy the Internet.”
For those who need a refresher on how a VPN service works, it "encrypts all the traffic flow between the Internet and a user’s device".
This means a VPN is designed to "prevent tracking software and governments from monitoring the user’s Internet activity and helps hide their IP address".
Naturally, various governments around the world are always looking at ways to defeat VPNs, so it can end up being a bit of a game of cat and mouse between VPN providers and various governments, but that's how it has always been, and presumably, how it is always going to be.
Whatever happens, safe surfing!