Officials and experts in China's Internet industry have said that it is illegal for foreign companies to operate a VPN business in China.
Three overseas VPN service providers, Astrill, Witopia and StrongVPN apologized Thursday that their service to residents in the Chinese mainland has been blocked due to a recent upgrade of the GWF. Astrill claimed that most VPN protocols have been blocked, and that many foreign companies have been influenced.
"As far as I know, companies running a VPN business in China must register with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. I haven't heard that any foreign companies have registered," said the designer of the GFW Fang Binxing.