Troubleshoot Tuesday: OpenVPN blocked in China
China is known for having some of the toughest internet censorship around. It should come as no surprise then that “Great Firewall of China” isn’t overly fond of virtual private networks. In fact, China has gone so far as to block some top VPN provider websites, such as longtime Sabai Technology ally StrongVPN.
Late December 5th, reports began surfacing that VPN customers in China where having trouble connecting to Open VPN. StrongVPN reports the issue is caused by a UDP Protocol that is being at least partially blocked by China. (Don’t worry, they have already posted a solution!)
OpenNet Initiative explains China’s internet censorship:
China maintains one of the most pervasive and sophisticated regimes of Internet filtering and information control in the world. The community of Chinese Internet users continues to grow, while the state simultaneously increases its capacity to restrict content that might threaten social stability or state control through tight regulations on domestic media, delegated liability for online content providers, just-in-time filtering, and “cleanup” campaigns.
According to a Harvard study, at least 18,000 websites are blocked from within mainland China. Out of the Top 100 Global Websites, 12 are currently blocked in mainland China. Some examples of blocked content in China include Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook.
VPN customers in China should not lose hope. StrongVPN posted a solution to this issue within hours and many VPN companies across the globe work to bring internet freedom and security worldwide. There are also some great non-profits backing this issue, including the OpenNet Initiative, GreatFire.org, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and more.