The internet is censored in mainland China. More than 2600 major websites are blocked in China! There is a so called ‘Great Firewall of China’. This Great Firewall of China prevents you to get access to Google, Gmail, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat and other social network websites. In this blog you read about how to bypass the Great Firewall.
You can install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and get access to any websites you want. A VPN will re-route your internet connection through a server located in another country rather than China, therefore you can acces these websites. Using a VPN individually is not illegal in China. There is no law against individuals using an overseas VPN. Make sure you install and setup your VPN on your computer and other devices before you travel to China because it might get difficult once you have arrived in China.
If you are using a Gmail address and don’t want to use a VPN, we advise an Outlook or Yahoo e-mail address instead of a Gmail account since Gmail is blocked in China without a VPN. The Google Play Store and some websites are blocked in China.
You can just use WhatsApp and Skype to share your amazing experiences with your family and friends without using a VPN since WhatsApp and Skype are not blocked in China.
China also has its own versions of social network websites such as Baidu (Google), Youku (Youtube), Weibo (Twitter), WeChat (a combination of Facebook and WhatsApp).
There are free and paid versions of VPN services. The difference between them are that paid VPN’s have multiple server locations in different countries and a more stable and faster connection than the free versions. Below are a few free and paid VPN services we recommend:
Written by Wing Lam, Intern at China Plus