PureVPN to shut down Hong Kong headquarters citing security fears

Purevpn Hero
Purevpn Hero (Image credit: Shutterstock)

What you need to know

  • PureVPN is shutting down its Hong Kong headquarters.
  • The company follows PIA and Tunnelbear in leaving following new security laws.
  • It is unknown where the new headquarters will be at this time.

PureVPN has become the latest of the best VPN (Virtual Private Network) providers to shut down its operations in Hong Kong because of privacy and security fears. The company has decommissioned its servers and is looking to potentially move the main headquarters to a new location as well.

Last month, Private Internet Access and TunnelBear took the decision to close down their Hong Kong-based servers after the Chinese government introduced a controversial new security law.

Citing similar concerns to PIA and TunnelBear, PureVPN has announced it has withdrawn its servers from the previously self-governing city state in a bid to "maintain utmost safety" of users.

"A tremendous threat"

In a blog post, PureVPN explained that it has "kept a close eye on the recent developments in Hong Kong and its potential impact on our users" and that it agrees "with the human rights watchdogs and activists that the new National Security Law poses a tremendous threat to users' Internet security, privacy, and freedom."

While PureVPN pointed out that it doesn't store personal data and doesn't "perceive any imminent threat from the legislative changes in Hong Kong", the firm said it decommissioned its Hong Kong-based servers on July 28th to maintain the "the trust of our millions of users across the globe".

The firm went on to explain that it made the decision due to "a lack of clarity of the repercussions that this recently enacted National Security Law will have on the integrity of our VPN servers in Hong Kong."

Next steps

To avoid "immediate disruption", PureVPN will enable its users to connect to Hong Kong-based servers using a manual process up to September 21st.

After this deadline, users who need to access a Hong Kong server will have a greater choice of servers across Asia. PureVPN said it is "ramping up our VPN servers in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea".

PureVPN added: "Our operational dependency on Hong Kong has always been minimal since all of our operations are overseas. We are taking time to evaluate our jurisdiction, and at this point, keeping all our options open.

"These are the first few steps in a series of steps that we've planned and will be communicating back to our users, partners, and media in the coming weeks."

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Nicholas Fearn