"Wow, China even has VPNs banned. I guess it's not entirely surprising."
VPNs have been banned in China for years - with criminal penalties if caught using them.
What's happened recently is that they've been actively cracking down on it - and targeting foreigners, who they used to turn a blind eye to.
China has a shitload of draconian laws on the books and a history of only using them when it suits the authorities to do so (aka, when they decide they don't like you, you can be done for walking on the cracks in the sidewalk).
At $orkplace we've been having to remind people wanting us to setup VPNs for travel into China that
a: Such things are illegal in China
b: Getting caught would not be a good thing.
c: We're not allowed to assist in illegal activities in any case.
These kinds of laws in the UK are a backdoor way of implementing a "Great Firewall", but legislators all tend to forget one key factor - LEO satellite internet is on the horizon and all the firewalls on all the physical gateways on all the terrestrial borders won't make much difference if people switch to those for their xhamster or uncensored newsfeeds (good luck working out where someone's satellite dish is pointing when you don't need a satellite dish)