But before we embark on the weekend, we do need to share some troubling news with you.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are a great tool for both marketers as well as savvy users: they allow us to get better prices based on virtual location instead of our real physical location, they allow us to stream content otherwise unavailable for us (like Netflix outside of selected countries) and allow us to even enter websites that are were not accessible for us, like many kinds of Chinese websites, beyond the “Great Firewall”.
As a move of censorship by the Chinese government, it is now illegal to use VPNs and other “unauthorized means of communications” and as a result, the Chinese government has instated countermeasures that slow down some VPNs such as Vypr and Express.
The official story is that the government needs regulate and to organize an otherwise “disordered development” in the internet connection service market.
It’s a known fact to us all that the government controls all sectors of business in China, and this cleanup that is supposed to finish at the end of March 2018, is as bogus as monsters in closets and the boogeyman
What is the problem though?
China block 135 out of 1,000 global ranking websites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and even Youtube, thus forcing locals to use VPNs to bypass these blocked websites.
A sort of repression à la 89’ Tiananmen, just without tanks – just firewalls.
We will not be going into Pacific Politics, especially the way the government is treating its citizens, just the concerns of us as marketers operating in the largest market in Asia.
What are the repercussions though?
Many businesses operating in Mainland China, mostly foreign, have many concerns with this disconnection from the outside world as this may hinder connections between suppliers and buyers and the entire online market that is connected to China. We must not forget how many businesses could actually be harmed by this action, especially ones operating in China and working worldwide such as Baidu or retail giant Aliexpress.
With growing fear of being prosecuted by the government for “unauthorized means of communications”, many businesses are shutting down their operations.
These concerned are not only shared by the business sector, but even voices in the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association think that this new cybersecurity act should be debunked as foreign spending in China may very well dwindle if foreign businesses are to be subjected to the same treatment as local ones.
The Chinese government is standing fast and wishes to push through with this policy. The only question whom would fold in first – the government or foreign businesses operating in the country.
Only time will tell, we are afraid.