Wu Xiangyang, this is the name of the man convicted in Guangxi by the Pingnan court, had not obtained the license to sell VPN services according to recent regulations promulgated by the Chinese government.
The man, according to Sina, accused of other minor crimes, was sentenced to more than 5 years imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 yuan.
From 2013 to June 2017, Wu Xiangyang had sold “illegal” VPN services with his company Teevpn without obtaining the license, built his own VPN server and provided software and access to some members to navigate foreign sites, bypassing the rigorous Chinese censorship.
The man sold his services on the Taobao e-commerce platform.
In September, another man in Guangdong, Deng Jiewei, was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment on the same charge.
From January 2017, and more forcefully since July, the Chinese government has launched a campaign to curb the use of VPNs in the country.
Is it illegal to use VPNs in China?
At the moment the answer is uncertain, although we can say with some confidence that it is not a good idea to sell VPN services in China. China has launched a fairly clear program to counter the use of VPNs. The problem is that thousands of companies in the country, necessarily have to equip themselves with VPNs to bypass local censorship and to access the free web.
There is no news at the time of fines imposed on companies or individuals for the use of this software.
2018 from this point of view represents a turning point since the measures imposed by the central government in 2017 will come into full force in 2018.