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China may not be blocking VPNs after all

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Chinese flag (credit Flickr/poeloq)

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the Chinese government would be requiring internet provides to block users’ access to personal VPNs. However, a new report published today in the state-run news site The Paper (spotted by Engadget) seems to contradict that report.

The statement from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says that “authorized” VPNs will be allowed to conduct business as usual, and that the new restrictions only apply to companies using unauthorized VPNs, a policy that the ministry notes has been in place since January.

That said, the statement in The Paper doesn’t really clarify which users are eligible for approval or how that process will work, leaving plenty of room for additional restrictions if the government decides to go that route.