Aryaka is joining forces with China Mobile to deliver software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) to global companies with offices in China and Chinese companies with offices outside the country.
Aryaka said the company’s global private network, which it built by buying Layer 2 capacity from Tier 1 and Tier 2 service providers, was a big draw for China Mobile. “We are a global SD-WAN provider. We have a global connection,” said Gary Sevounts, chief marketing officer at Aryaka.
The company noted that this partnership is key because the Chinese government is trying to stop people from using virtual private networks (VPNs) to skirt censorship restrictions by routing Web traffic abroad. According to a Bloomberg article from last July, the Chinese government has approved only three telecom carriers — China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom — to handle VPN traffic. This impacts SD-WANs because most SD-WAN networks interoperate with VPNs.
Although China has officially banned non-state-sanctioned VPNs, there is still little information about how or when the ban will be implemented.
Nevertheless, Aryaka executives say that if SD-WAN providers are not working with one of those three approved companies, they are at risk of not being compliant with Chinese regulators. Aryaka believes that by teaming with China Mobile it will be one of the few compliant SD-WAN solutions available for global companies with offices in China. “We will use China Mobile circuits,” Sevounts said. “That combination will make us compliant.”
Aryaka executives said they weren’t aware of any enterprises being disconnected due to lack of compliance, but the company believes that some firms have received letters warning them that they need to make changes or they will be disconnected.
Aryaka isn’t the only SD-WAN provider operating in China. Versa Networks has a deal with China Telecom Global (CTG) to be its primary SD-WAN vendor. According to Kumar Mehta, founder and chief development officer at Versa, the government restrictions are designed to prevent consumers in China from using VPN or SD-WAN connections to access Web sites outside China but will not impact Versa’s business in China.
“Enterprise customers only need to register with their government-approved ISP to ensure compliance and mitigate any issues,” Mehta said in a statement to SDxCentral.