Not all heroes wear capes. One such hero is Deng Jiewei, from Guangdong, who was recently arrested by the Chinese government for selling virtual private networks. He has now been sentenced to a 9-month jail.
China monitors the online activities of its citizens. VPNs are the only way to get access to the Internet and not the watered-down version that the government force-feeds people.
The "Great Firewall" of China
China has one of the most stringent Internet rules, so much so, that most of the websites, which are common in the world outside of China are inaccessible there.
Those sites have counterparts, which are popular but authorities keep a strict eye on them.
A tech-savvy Chinese millennial mostly uses VPN apps to bounce his/her network connection in order to visit these banned websites.
The VPN story
Chinese don't have access to Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. They get a diluted version of Wikipedia. Deng started selling VPNs which many Chinese citizens used, to flout Internet rules in 2015 and was arrested in August 2016.
The South China Morning Post said he was charged with letting users "visit foreign websites that could not be accessed by a mainland IP address."
Apple and Alibaba silenced too
Recently, giving in to the pressure created by the Beijing Internet regulators, the tech giant and one of the strongest voices supporting Internet freedom, Apple also removed all virtual private network (VPN) services from its Chinese App Store.
Additionally, China has instructed five websites and e-commerce platforms, including its own home-grown e-commerce giant Alibaba, to remove all vendors that sell VPNs.