China's cyber regulator announced on Tuesday that its regulation on VPNs issued in January aims at cracking down on unlicensed operations and will not affect the legal operation of companies and individuals.
Zhang Feng, spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a press conference held by China's State Council on Tuesday that to better regulate the Internet market, the MIIT issued a regulation to clear up those businesses which had set up or rented VPNs to carry out cross-border operations but failed to get required approval or certifications, the China News Service reported.
Zhang stressed that some foreign companies or multinational enterprises who need to use VPN for business reasons can rent special lines from telecommunication operators that legally provide such services, and that the regulation will not affect their normal operations. In response to questions about the approval standards, Zhang said that all basic telecommunication operations including VPN services need to be approved by the government.
Wen Ku, another MIIT official, added that any operator in China should apply for approval under China's laws and regulations, same as in other countries. China's telecom operators have done a lot of work to provide services to the public and have greatly accelerated the Internet speed.
The government's measures are effective, especially in the digital economy, said Wen, adding that the government is aware of the needs of the people, but will never tolerate those who spread harmful, even terrorist, information through the Internet.