China Reportedly to Ban VPNs, and Apple Removes Censorship Evasion Apps from Its China Store

China will apparently try to further impose Internet censorship soon, in what is an injustice to the country’s population.

China has moved to block all virtual private networks (VPNs) by next year, according to a report from Bloomberg, in what would mark a significant crackdown on citizens’ access to the open web.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government ordered state-run telecoms to begin blocking VPNs by February 1st. Earlier this year, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that all VPN services would need to obtain government approval, as part of a “cleanup” of unauthorized internet connections.

Many Chinese internet users use VPNs to privately access websites that are blocked under China’s so-called “Great Firewall,” including restricted news sites and social media services like Facebook and Twitter. It is unclear whether the VPN block would affect foreign corporations, many of which use VPNs to secure data and circumvent web filters.

Apple is really proving its worth as an American company by helping to promote the freedom of the Chinese public abroad too.

HONG KONG — China appears to have received help on Saturday from an unlikely source in its fight against tools that help users evade its Great Firewall of internet censorship: Apple.

Software made by foreign companies to help users skirt the country’s system of internet filters has vanished from Apple’s app store on the mainland.

Apple has made some contributions to better privacy and security, but this development isn’t one of them. For the Chinese censorship problem, it’s still possible to use the Tor network to evade the Great Firewall. One method involves using the Tor Project’s Tor Browser while using the meek bridge, as shown here.