Popular Mobile VPN Services Shut Down in China

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,437
8,501



A popular virtual private network service has been forced to close in China on orders from the government, it emerged on Monday. Bloomberg reported that GreenVPN sent a notice to its customers saying it would end the service from July 1 after "receiving a notice from regulatory departments".

VPNs route and encrypt internet traffic to servers outside of the country, making them popular with users in China who have limited access to online content because of government restrictions. VPNs allow access to sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are otherwise blocked by China's "Great Firewall".

Some users of the GreenVPN iPhone app reported that the service failed to load over the weekend. Apps for GreenVPN and SuperVPN are still listed in the App Store, but users reportedly had trouble downloading them or turning them on. Bloomberg was unable to contact SuperVPN's offices, while Apple didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

It's unknown whether the timing of the VPN shutdown is related to the politically sensitive 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China. In January, China's Ministry of Industry and Information announced new priorities for controlling online content which included restrictions on VPNs.

Last year, Apple faced its own issues with Chinese state regulators regarding a controversial independent movie which led to the shut down of iTunes and iBooks in the country.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Popular Mobile VPN Services Shut Down in China
 

alchemistmuffin

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2007
372
41
Yep. Matter of time before Apple is forced to take down all VPN app from the Chinese App Store page.

Sigh...... Apple caving into demands.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
SERIOUSLY, STOP.

If you guys are worried that topic would turn into political shouting match, just don't allow comments at all. Probably for the best in this political climate.
 

iZac

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2003
2,009
1,065
Shanghai
Many iPhone users in China will get themselves a foreign account and top it up with iTunes gift cards from the country of their choice. Of course on the flip side I had to set one of my accounts to "China" so I could download the local version of Uber.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cameroncafe10a

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,212
207
Iowa, USA
Yep. Matter of time before Apple is forced to take down all VPN app from the Chinese App Store page.

Sigh...... Apple caving into demands.

Uhh, what does this have to do with Apple? Apple making the app available in the App Store is one thing, but it's not like the issue here is that they removed it. The VPN app needs to route the traffic through a server (or multiple, at least one of which is apparently located outside China, so I'm not sure the extent of regulatory authority China's agencies would have have over that). That is what got shut down or somehow blocked in this case--by China. Apple had nothing to do with that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Plutonius

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,454
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
Yep. Matter of time before Apple is forced to take down all VPN app from the Chinese App Store page.

Sigh...... Apple caving into demands.
They aren’t caving. The law is the law in China and either Apple can follow it or close their business there. I didn’t shoot my neighbor, so am I caving into the demands of the US government? Not everything is a heroic battle, and it’s not Apple’s job to police another nation’s citizenry.

Much like MacRumors. They put this post in the political section, and it’s their site and their policy choice. Don’t like it? There are other sites.
 

miknos

Suspended
Mar 14, 2008
939
778
Yep. Matter of time before Apple is forced to take down all VPN app from the Chinese App Store page.

Sigh...... Apple caving into demands.



SERIOUSLY, STOP.

If you guys are worried that topic would turn into political shouting match, just don't allow comments at all. Probably for the best in this political climate.
It's good for ratings (CNN moto). Just avoid mentioning something that's against a mod's view and it's fine.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
May 17, 2008
3,371
1,119
the chinese can use use any vpn service online for free, whats the point of this?
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 603
May 30, 2002
6,044
1,624
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
It's a communist country and everything that it does it to maintain the Party's primary authority and dissent will not be tolerated. Never forget Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 to understand what a diseased government that country has.
Funny enough this years celebration showed a significant drop of those that 'celebrated' (sorry wrong word but remembered in a gathering doesn't seem to fit) of that tragedy. Most importantly the youth didn't know much about it. Meaning government is winning.
 

dogslobber

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2014
3,476
4,670
Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
Funny enough this years celebration showed a significant drop of those that 'celebrated' (sorry wrong word but remembered in a gathering doesn't seem to fit) of that tragedy. Most importantly the youth didn't know much about it. Meaning government is winning.
You're right about the government winning given how they employ the Great Firewall of China and all that. The others likely just don't as they're suitably comfortable from the excesses of the economic growth of the country. As long as that comfort is reinforced then nothing will change. But I think that China is approaching the perfect storm of societal issues that they can't avoid the iceberg approaching and the anarchy that'll occur.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shirasaki

justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
10,128
5,203
Home is everywhere and nowhere.
You're right about the government winning given how they employ the Great Firewall of China and all that. The others likely just don't as they're suitably comfortable from the excesses of the economic growth of the country. As long as that comfort is reinforced then nothing will change. But I think that China is approaching the perfect storm of societal issues that they can't avoid the iceberg approaching and the anarchy that'll occur.

Well said and most likely true.
 

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
1,756
2,193
Provo, UT
I travel to China several times a year and of course end up using a VPN while I'm there. I always get nervous when I do, so I limit it to when I really need to get to something (Facebook isn't worth it).

I can never understand why certain things are blocked. For example, I had to use a VPN to get to AT&T's site to pay a bill while I was there. Not sure that AT&T is really trying to be subversive to the Chinese government.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sudo1996

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,212
207
Iowa, USA
VPN should be baked in to iOS and MacOS with an always on option and kill switch when your connection drops.
How would that help? (It's already is, by the way, though some VPNs require types of configurations not supported without the help of a third party app, apparently including this one.) A VPN isn't just an app. You need a VPN server to connect it to, and, as I said above, that is what got shut down in this case. I'm not sure many people on this thread understand how VPNs work.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,504
3,099
If the unelected Tories remain in charge then I'd say highly likely, given their manifesto points regarding internet and encryption.
It's news to me that the Tories are unelected. There is of course plenty of evidence that they are clueless.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sudo1996

coolspot18

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2010
1,032
77
Canada
China proving it's not a free country once again.
I wonder whether VPN services like these will ever be blocked in the U.K. The idea doesn't seem so far fetched anymore.
Does it matter? The Chinese are happy.

Culturally speaking, total freedom, like a Western democracy, is quite foreign to a lot of Asian cultures. Even in democratic countries like Japan and Korea, family life is strict and patriarchal. If these countries were to gradually revert back to a benevolent dictatorship, I'm not even sure if the people in those countries would even mind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shirasaki

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
Does it matter? The Chinese are happy.

Culturally speaking, total freedom, like a Western democracy, is quite foreign to a lot of Asian cultures. Even in democratic countries like Japan and Korea, family life is strict and patriarchal. If these countries were to gradually revert back to a benevolent dictatorship, I'm not even sure if the people in those countries would even mind.
So you speak on for all China and propagate the notion that Asians are subservient and footbound and like it...?

Are you sure?