Chinese Man Arrested for Selling Unauthorized VPN Service

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Chinese authorities arrested an operator for selling unauthorized VPN to locals which is against the GreatFire Wall project.

The Chinese authority is in search of the unauthorized and unregistered VPN software within the country’s borders. China uses a system of online censorship known as the Great Firewall to block foreign websites.

The Great Firewall project blocked access to 135 out of 1000 top websites including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Chinese police arrested a 29-year-old man with the pseudonym of GAO from the city of Taizhou who has made a fortune by selling VPN services since mid-2016. Gao has made more than 11 million Chinese yuan ($1.6million) by renting access to VPN servers to more than 28,000 regular customers. Gao pleaded guilty in 2019 and is still awaiting the final sentence. The chances are that the man will receive both imprisonment and fine.

“People use it for ordinary things to watch videos and read the news,” said Gao to local media.He added that he didn’t think the users were doing anything illegal.

China keeps strict rules in accessing the internet and the various information sources accessible online. This means that a large number of websites are blocked there, and whoever access them through whatever means is a punishable act. Regulators say only government-authorised VPN’s will be allowed.

In September 2017, a Dongguan man was sentenced to nine months in prison for operating a VPN service. Similarly, in December 2017, a Pingnan man was sentenced to five years in prison for operating a VPN service and making $120,000 by renting access to 8,000 customers.

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