Harold Li, vice president at ExpressVPN, a VPN provider, said: “It’s not uncommon for efforts to block VPNs to escalate during significant political events as part of an ongoing cat-and-mouse game with VPNs in China. These latest blocking attempts are a continuation of that and do not, in our view, represent a major shift in strategy or sophistication.”
The company noticed an increase in blocking efforts in China starting Saturday afternoon.
Other VPN providers have however noticed an escalation in China’s abilities to thwart their services allowing users to access blocked online content.
“The Chinese government improvements in VPN blocking technology has led to widespread blocking of the most popular VPN providers over the past couple months,” said CEO Sunday Yokubaitis. “I don’t expect this trend to reverse itself in the near future.
“The Chinese government has greatly improved its blocking technologies since the summer of 2018. Our VyprVPN service has experienced several disruptions starting in December 2018 and even as recently as last night.
“The Chinese appear to be using a combination of automation, likely artificial intelligence, and focused human monitoring to make the Great Firewall stronger and more sophisticated.
“In the past, VPN blocks would happen in days or hours in response to our countermeasures. But, now the VPN blocks are occurring in a matter of minutes. The Chinese government improvements in VPN blocking technology has led to widespread blocking of the most popular VPN providers over the past couple months.