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China go-ahead to enable foreign access to VPN services
Published on: 2021-10-19
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The State Council, China's cabinet, on Monday gave the green light to Beijing's plan to allow foreign shareholding of no more than 50 percent in domestic virtual private network (VPN) services as part of the capital city's moves to open up its services sector.

The opening-up move intends to attract foreign telecom operators to provide VPN services for foreign-invested firms in Beijing via the set-up of joint ventures, according to an announcement posted on the central government's website on Monday.

The move is part of revisions to a raft of rules and regulations, effectively immediately in designated areas in Beijing only, in line with an action plan unveiled last September during the annual services trade show in Beijing.

Foreign shareholding limits would be lifted in the Haidian park of the Zhongguancun national innovation demonstration zone in Beijing exclusively for app stores, among other revisions.

The VPN service opening-up, for its part, is a modification of the 2020 edition of a negative list for foreign investment access, which stipulates that the share of foreign investment in value-added telecommunications services shouldn't exceed 50%, except for e-commerce and domestic multi-party communication services, among others, and basic telecom services must be majority-owned by China, read the Monday announcement.



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