China deploys a favorite weapon in the coronavirus crisis: A crackdown on VPNs

Multinational corporations in China often subscribe to registered or legal VPNs as a matter of compliance, Lee said. But at the same time, they rely on unregistered VPNs to further insulate themselves from Beijing. (In 2017, the vice president of the US-China Business Council Jacob Parker explained that a sudden unavailability of well-functioning VPNs "would be a disruptive influence on businesses operating [in China].")