The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t like if people get through the Great Firewall.
That firewall already struck Steam (we wrote about it previously in detail here), so it’s not surprising to see the Chinese netizens turn to VPN services to be capable of accessing unavailable websites and their content due to being blocked by the CCP. However, the party banned the VPN services which are not tied to their authorities (and even Apple blocked hundreds of such apps). If you don’t comply, you’ll get punished…
Yu Xiangyang had his service unregistered, and he got thrown in jail for five and a half (!) years, and he also has to pay half a million yuan (about 60 thousand dollars), as apparently, he had that much profit of the VPN service, which was used by 8000 foreign clients and 5000 businesses.
„Anonymizers such as VPNs are a key enabler of human rights online. The fact that this man got such a long sentence for selling VPNs is a very worrying sign, and it reflects how the Chinese government is determined to punish those that try to jump over the Great Firewall and access information that isn’t subjected to the world’s most intense censorship regime,” William Nee of Amnesty International in Hong Kong said.
That’s a harsh penalty.