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VPN is not connected? That might be why – it’s Shanghai

VPN is not connected? That might be why – it’s Shanghai


Update (March 12, 2019 11.15pm CST): ExpressVPN states that its VPN service in China “continues to improve connection reliability” and that no new issues affecting the connection have emerged. Besides updating their software to the latest version, ExpressVPN also recommends connecting to certain server locations such as Hong Kong-4, USA-Los Angeles-5 and UK – Wembley.

Popular VPN service ExpressVPN is said to be down or running at a connection speed much slower than usual in places like Guangzhou and Beijing, among other Chinese cities. According to several ExpressVPN users, they started having connection issues yesterday, March 2, and are still unable to connect as of press time.

ExpressVPN issued a notice on March 2 saying that they are aware of connection issues in China and are currently looking for solutions to get the service back up and running. In their statement, they recommend updating to the latest version of the app and using specific proxy sites that have a better chance of connecting.

Although ExpressVPN hasn’t revealed the cause of the connection issues, it’s worth noting that the two “sessions” in China (they are known in Chinese as Lianghui), started today. The term “two sessions” refers to two major political conferences in China that take place within days of each other: the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). The former started today, March 3, while the latter will start March 5.

Companies that provide VPN services to users residing in China have a history of experiencing connectivity issues when holding major political and business conferences. In late October, ExpressVPN sent out a similar notice of poor connectivity around the same time as the China International Import Expo in Shanghai and the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. In December, another popular VPN service, VyprVPN, experienced a shutdown of about a month after using “new blocking techniques by great firewall” to stop the service.

Note: While we can’t talk about people located in other regions of China, Astrill VPN seems to work normally in Guangzhou.

Read more: Man fined for using VPN in Guangdong

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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