Amazon Forces Users in China to Remove VPN Services

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Only after a few days since Apple’s shocking compliance with China’s ban of illegal VPN services, another giant tech company has succumbed to China’s latest notorious regulations against VPN service providers, Amazon. According to recent reports, Amazon was forced to inform its cloud-computing customers to remove all illegal VPN services and encryption tools that are used to bypass China’s Great Firewall and censorship systems.

“If we discover [clients using unapproved VPNs], we will shut down services,” “This is in accordance with directives from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT),” said the person, referring to the regulator that oversees VPN use. “We have asked clients to check all illegal cross-border businesses,” said a Beijing Sinnet staff member which runs Amazon Web Services (AWS) in China.

Even though Amazon supports internet freedom and net neutrality in the United States, it is obligated to abide by China’s stern internet censorship laws to keep its business afloat in the country. China is one of the largest markets overseas for giant tech corps like Apple and Amazon, that is why it is extremely crucial for them to maintain their businesses by complying with the country’s laws to avoid loss of revenue.

An Amazon spokesperson told Wall Street Journal that Sinnet was “responsible for ensuring that its customers in China comply with local laws” and that “their notice was intended to remind customers of their obligations.”

Chinese authorities have shut down a large number of VPN services in the hope to tighten the noose over the internet in the country even more. Not only have the authorities been targeting VPNs, but they have taken extreme measures against social media platforms, news portals and celebrity gossip websites as well as part of their web cleansing crusade. Not only are foreign companies such as: Apple and Amazon have to deal with internet censorship issues, but they are also facing tough competition from domestic rivals.