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Almost a Third of World’s Top VPNs Are Secretly Owned By Chinese Firms, Study Finds

SonicSpike shares a report from Computer Weekly: Almost a third (30%) of the world’s top virtual private network (VPN) providers are secretly owned by six Chinese companies, according to a study by privacy and security research firm VPNpro. The study shows that the top 97 VPNs are run by just 23 parent companies, many of which are based in countries with lax privacy laws. Six of these companies are based in China and collectively offer 29 VPN services, but in many cases, information on the parent company is hidden to consumers. Researchers at VPNpro have pieced together ownership information through company listings, geolocation data, the CVs of employees and other documentation. In some instances, ownership of different VPNs is split amongst a number of subsidiaries. For example, Chinese company Innovative Connecting owns three separate businesses that produce VPN apps: Autumn Breeze 2018, Lemon Cove and All Connected. In total, Innovative Connecting produces 10 seemingly unconnected VPN products, the study shows. Although the ownership of a number of VPN services by one company is not unusual, VPNpro is concerned that so many are based in countries with lax or non-existence privacy laws.


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