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What is a VPN and why do we still need it in China?

Daily Budget Guide to Travelling in Shanghai China

It's 2015, yet sometimes I feel we are still living in the last decade. During which time China's Golden Shield Project really ramped up and blocked foreign content on mass.

Not a week goes by without a news story with yet another media site blocked from access in the Mainland.  Recently The Guardian's front page had become unavailable to China, with many stories and editorials seeing intermittent access.  This comes after The Guardian published information on relatives of top officials shoring up vast sums of cash in the Caribbean.  I don't want to link to the story, purely to keep our website unblocked within China.  But you can Google this story to read further.

It strikes me that the Chinese leadership still don't get how information, especially related to internal problems are going seem invisible to the rest of the country.  May I remind you that China has a population of almost 1.4 billion, with almost 600 million having regular access to the internet.  China also has the largest social networks in the world, which means information can spread like a wildfire.

My question is, by blocking internal access to these sorts of news stories, who are they trying to hide the information from exactly? Because it's not like net citizens in China don't come across this one way or another.  There is only one factor I remain understanding of China's reasons for the way it conducts itself..

English: Map of the Republic of China, showing administrative divisions and territorial disputes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We lived in China for 6 months and learned a great deal about the country, culture and daily life for the average Chinese citizen.  The government has a massive job in it's hands, to maintain stability in a country of that size, is not an easy feat.

Social unrest is a key fundamental behind many of China's actions.  Keeping unemployment artificially low is one of the biggest sticking points as China in 2014 is a country of great opportunity to the young Chinese, compared with many western countries.

We used VyprVPN throughout our travels in China in 2013 and 2014.  It's well worth the $5 investment per month!

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