You might have come across the fact that the Internet is more restricted in China. Most popular blocked websites include Google, Facebook, and more than 10,000 domain names that the Westerners are using freely.
The best way to gain access to the World Wide Web is to use a VPN.
However, using a VPN in China is partially not possible. After the government banned most of the non approved providers by March 31, 2018 it has become extremely difficult to use international services and tools.
So, does VPN work in China at all?
The goal of this research is to make a list of fully-working VPNs.
Our Step-By-Step Process
- Subscribed to more than 90+ VPNs
- Chose 51 promising services for testing
- Tried to access VPN websites
- Ran tests with each service with China Unicom Shandong ISP
- Documented every single test with Screenshots (SS).
VPN in China Key Insights:
- 80.9% of VPN websites are not accessible
- Only 13,7% of VPNs are working
Only 12 of 51 Websites Are Accessible
7 of 51 VPN Services Work in China
Unblocked VPNs: (Click to see the screenshot)
Norton WiFi Privacy
It Seems Nearly Impossible to Use VPN Unless:
- You register and install a VPN account in a different country or parts of China where the laws are different (Hong Kong, Macau)
- You already have a VPN account ready to use.
- Install temporary a Chrome extension like Latern or ASTAR to access the site and download the VPN service. Be aware that those extensions are proxies and shouldn’t be used in long-term.
China VPN Laws
China VPNs are in legal grey-area.
A September report from GlobalWebIndex claimed the VPN crackdown was disrupting work and study for entrepreneurs, scientists, and students.
The firm’s survey of Chinese internet users found that 14 percent use a VPN daily. For China’s online population of 731 million, this means 100 million regular users.
However, some services are not approved by the government.
State-run news site: The statement from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says that “authorized” VPNs will be allowed to conduct business as usual and the new restrictions only apply to companies using unauthorized VPNs, a policy that, the ministry notes, has been in place since January 2018.
That said, the statement in The Paper doesn’t really clarify which users are eligible for approval or how that process will work, leaving plenty of room for additional restrictions if the government decides to go that route.
The Best VPN in China
According to our previous research, top services are:
- ExpressVPN (Preferred — the highest-ranking VPN that works in China)
Disclaimer: We are not lawyers. This is an informative article for educational purposes only. Citizens and travelers should always do their own research and follow the local laws.