By Ryan Gandolfo
If you are an Instagram model or a sub-Reddit administrator, you might be more than a little bit frustrated these past few days.
On October 30, ExpressVPN sent out an email to subscribers in China addressing the lackluster connectivity with their virtual private network (VPN) product.
Screengrab via Ryan Gandolfo/That's
“Customers in China may be having trouble connecting to ExpressVPN. We are aware of the issue and are working to address these blocks,” the company stated in an email. They also instructed subscribers to update their software and connect to recommended server locations (Hong Kong – 4, Hong Kong – 5, Tokyo – 1, Los Angeles – 4, Los Angeles – 5).
While ExpressVPN did not offer a reason behind the poor connection in their email, Chinese authorities are said to have ramped up efforts to suppress VPNs ahead of next week's China International Import Expo in Shanghai and the World Internet Conference, which will run from November 7-9 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.
Chief Executive Sunday Yokubaitis of Golden Frog, the developer of another popular virtual private network, VyperVPN, also brought up the government’s increased efforts in blocking their signature product. Yokubaitis told Reuters the latest effort to block their Internet proxy service was more aggressive than the previous (and increasing) blocks the company has experienced in the latter half of 2018.
As we know by now, this is nothing new in the Middle Kingdom.
In late January, the government put forth new regulations encouraging multinational companies to use “state-approved VPNs,” which provide rules for the VPN providers to follow when running their services.
As of today, popular VPN services such as ExpressVPN, VyperVPN and Astrill are still up and running, albeit at a slower rate with more frequent interruptions.
[Cover image via Marianne Krohn/Unsplash]
This article was originally published by our sister magazine That's Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the That's Shanghai website, or follow the That's Shanghai WeChat account (ID: Thats_Shanghai).