Chinese Man Jailed for 5 Years for Running Unauthorized VPN Service. While continuing its crackdown on services that help Chinese citizens to bypass Great Firewall, Chinese authorities have sentenced a man to five-and-a-half years in prison for selling a VPN service without obtaining a proper license from the government.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced a ban on “unauthorized” VPN services, making it mandatory for companies to obtain an appropriate license from the government in order to operate in the country.
Citizens in China usually make use of VPN and Proxy services to bypass the country’s Great Firewall, also known as the Golden Shield project, which employs a variety of tricks to censor the Internet in the country.
Xiangyang was also fined 500,000 yuan ($76,000) by the court in the southern region of Guangxi, according to an announcement from China’s Procuratorate Daily on Wednesday.
The report also said he was convicted of collecting “illegal revenue” of 792,638 yuan ($120,500) from his unlicensed business.
Xiangyang marketed the VPN service on its website, popular shopping site Taobao (owned by Alibaba) and on social media sites. In March last year, his company also claimed on Twitter to have 8,000 foreigners and 5,000 businesses using its VPN service to browse websites blocked in China.This wasn’t the first sentencing made in China for selling a VPN service without holding a proper license. Another Chinese citizen, Deng Jiewei, was also sentenced to nine months in prison and fined 5,000 Chinese yuan this March for selling unauthorized VPNs on his website.
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