If you live in China, or travel to China often, you’ve probably heard of the phrase “The Great Firewall of China”. It refers to the censorship of internet content, managed by the Chinese government and operated by the Ministry of Public Security. Many sites that are widely used around the world are blocked and can’t be accessed locally without a VPN.
WEBSITES BLOCKED IN CHINA
Thousands of websites are blocked and can’t be accessed in China without a VPN, including very popular social networks, news sites, and even search engines.
The most popular social networks in the world are blocked in China, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat among many others.
Blogging, or micro-blogging platforms are also blocked, including Blogger, Blogspot, Tumblr, and WordPress.com.
Pretty much anything related to Google is blocked, including its search engine, Google+, Google Hangouts, and the Google Play app store.
There are many blocked news sites that have millions of visitors worldwide. This includes The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Google News, Daily Motion, and even Wikileaks and Wikipedia.
Sites like Netflix, YouTube, and Vimeo can’t be accessed in China without a VPN. This doesn’t mean that there are no news sites, social networks, or search engines in China.
There are millions of websites you can access in China, including social networks like TenCent QQ, WeChat, Sand in a Weibo, and the search engine “Baidu”. One of the only globally used social networks used in China is LinkedIn, which expanded to the country in 2014 following a lengthy and costly negotiation with the government. Being available today, however, doesn’t say much about the future. Let’s not forget that Google was once available in China after it entered the market in 2006 following agreements to censor the content in accordance with Chinese Regulations. By 2010, Google was unable to meet government demands and had to leave the market and enter the “blocked” list.
USING A VPN TO ACCESS BLOCKED CONTENT
A VPN is the only way to access blocked content in China. Some websites, like Netflix, block VPNs, so it is important to check that you’re buying a VPN service that can solve your specific content needs. A VPN masks your Chinese IP address with that of another country, allowing you to access blocked websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google without any trouble.