Private VPNs to be blocked in China

China’s three telecommunications companies (China MobileChina Unicom and China Telecom) have been ordered to block access to private virtual private networks (VPNs) by February 2018. This will close one of the few avenues Internet users in China still have to access the global Internet. Without this access, users will not be able to access Twitter, Facebook, and most news sites. The move was said to be ‘part of a sweeping crackdown aimed at suppressing dissent and maintaining the Communist party’s grip on power.’ In the past China has instituted bans on VPNs, especially during high-level government meetings in Beijing.