Deng Jiewei, a Chinese VPN seller has received a 9 months jail sentence for illegally using his website to provide users access to foreign websites inaccessible from a local IP address.
Deng and his partner are said to have made a profit of around $2100 from this illegal business before being detained by officials of the Chinese government mid-August last year.
Strict Rules Against Freedom Of Speech
Most people are informed of the strict regulations imposed by the Chinese government in respect to freedom of speech and access to online information. The Great Firewall of China, responsible for regulating internet access locally has been monitoring user’s activities on the world wide web and has blocked access to popular sites like Facebook and YouTube; and the only available way for a user to bypass their close watch and visit blocked sites is through the use of a VPN which acts as a proxy to conceal their privacy by hiding their location and IP Addresses.
Deng ventured into the business of selling VPNs late 2015 before being arrested. The campaign to stop people using VPNs was kicked off early January this year by the Chinese government and the implication of this action involved the shutting down of commercial VPN Supply businesses who were threatened with jail terms or huge fines if caught, however this blockade did not affect multinational firms operating inside China who were exempted due to their need to access corporate information with international clients.
Shopping giant Alibaba and multinational technology company Apple was also affected as well with Alibaba mandated to remove postings of VPN sales and Apple removing about 60 applications on its Chinese app store that allowed users browse the web using a VPN.