China jails seller of VPN services

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2013, file photo, computer users sit near a monitor display with a message from the Chinese police on the proper use of the Internet at an Internet cafe in Beijing. A Chinese official newspaper says an entrepreneur has been sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison in December 2017 for selling virtual private network service amid a campaign by Beijing to stamp out technology that evades its internet filters. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

A Chinese official newspaper says an entrepreneur who sold virtual private network service has been sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison amid a campaign by Beijing to stamp out technology that evades its internet filters

BEIJING — A Chinese entrepreneur has been sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison for selling virtual private network service, a government newspaper said, as Beijing tries to stamp out use of technology that evades its internet filters.

Wu Xiangyang also was fined 500,000 yuan ($76,000) by the court in the southern region of Guangxi for operating his business without required licenses from 2013 until this June, according to the Procuratorate Daily. It said he was convicted of collecting "illegal revenue" of 792,638 yuan ($120,500).

The ruling Communist Party tries to block China's internet users from seeing material deemed subversive or obscene. It is tightening control over VPNs, which create encrypted links between computers and can be used to see blocked websites.

The crackdown has disrupted work and study for millions of Chinese entrepreneurs, academics and other people.

The VPN crackdown is part of a campaign to tighten political control that activists say is the most severe since the 1989 suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.

Regulators say only government-authorized VPNs will be allowed. One popular service, Green VPN, told customers in June it had been ordered to close. Others shut down without warning.

In March, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who sold VPN service in Dongguan, near Hong Kong, was sentenced to nine months in prison.

A software developer was arrested in August in Jiangsu province, near Shanghai, on charges he set up a business to sell unauthorized VPNs.

Peaple also read these

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of...

Mar 31, 2017

China plans a preserve for giant pandas that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National...

Recent developments surrounding the South China...

Apr 10, 2017

The Pentagon says A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group is departing the South China Sea to...

Trade groups appeal to Beijing to postpone...

May 15, 2017

Global business groups asked China to postpone enforcing a cybersecurity law they say violates its...

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade Great...

Jul 20, 2017

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade internet controls

Stock markets slide as tech earnings underwhelm

Jul 28, 2017

Asian, European shares slide as concerns spread over Wall Street's tech sell-off

Sign up now!