Funny, I've just recently been noticing the same thing. And this is my 5th year in Kunming. I used to only have to use the VPN occasionally to get to some very specific sites but lately I have to run the VPN almost all the time just to go to sites that normally aren't blocked.
Still, I am assuming that it is actual blocking and not a slowdown or hop count problem. Sure glad I've got a good VPN but let's hope this is just temporary.
Like someone else mentioned, I even today had to use it to get to GoKunming site.
I guess I have the opposite problem soon because I want to sell my property here and have the money wired back to my US bank in dollars. So I have several questions if this group would be willing to help out.
1) I see that Dry and Easy has managed to find the Foreign Exchange Bureau and that's great because everyone tells me I should go there (with my receipt for exchanging dollars to rmb in the beginning) but all the people I've asked don't know where it is! even realtors didn't know.
So if you could say where this bureau is, it would be a big help.
2) I saw online that the Chinese are now also limited to exchange rmb for no more than $50K US per year and something about a daily limit of $10K. This change happened in 2010 they say. Anyone heard about this? And do you think it would apply to wiring money from the chinese account to my US bank?
OK, I know that's too much for a short forum entry. Thanks for any help
Actually, it happened to me when I bought and I objected (to no avail) because I was afraid the lower 'fake' price would hurt me in capital gains type fees on the sale. But it was clear then that everybody was doing business this way.
Yuantongsi, Thanks so much for that idea. I wouldn't have thought to do that. So the laws in China don't say whether the buyer or seller has to pay each type of fees? that might be the way to go. Of course, I'd like to ask the buyer to settle in USDollars since they are easy for chinese to get and it's hard for me to get RMB changed. Guess that's another problem entirely.