China Relax VPN Restrictions to Attract Foreign Investment

scmp 2019-09-01


Cybersecurity remains paramount in China, but it has to be reconciled with the need to further open up the country’s economy for foreign investment. Amid a slowing economy and a flattening trajectory of growth, the city of Beijing has taken the lead by unveiling plans to allow overseas firms to invest in up to 50 per cent ownership of virtual private network services, within a trial zone, by the year’s end.

The networks allow users to bypass China’s “Great Firewall” to access global information and communications sites such as Google and Facebook. A relaxation of restrictions approved earlier this year by the State Council is aimed at attracting foreign telecoms operators to provide VPN services to foreign-invested firms in the capital, according to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce.

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