China is known as one of the many countries in which Internet access is severely limited, and its government continues to put in place measures that are meant to restrict unmitigated access to websites and channels that it feels could give rise to political or civil resistance. In doing so, China has consciously decided to censor some of the most popular websites in the world, meaning foreigners making their way to this country will certainly be disappointed with the inability to browse through sites and channels that they’ve grown used to while in their home country. In the article below, we take a look at all the popular sites China has blocked using the infamous ‘Great Firewall’.
If you want to get around website blocks imposed by The Great Firewall of China, using VPN is a must. ExpressVPN
is the only VPN service provider we can confirm is working in Mailand China as of November 2nd, 2017.
List of Websites Blocked in China
Why Does China Block Access to Certain Sites?
Their government cites a number of reasons that justify this harsh practice, with some of them including social control, economic protectionism and the need to control access to sensitive content. The Chinese authorities prefer to have a strong grasp on the type of information that has the capability to portray their rule in a negative way. They would also rather keep a lid on the many sources of information that would cast a dark shadow over their history, or promote content that’s regarded as obscene such as pornography. Economically speaking, the Chinese are very keen on enforcing regulations that seem to very much favour their local companies, thereby discouraging the use of foreign firms among their citizenry.
These simple reasons have been known to frustrate a lot of people who happen to be visiting the region for the very first time, as they all have the potential to derail whatever plans of use of the Internet that had been initially made. In this review, we’re going to take a look at a number of popular sites that you’re not likely to access while there, as well as what you might need to do to work around the blocks that’ve been put in place to deny you access.
List of Popular Sites Blocked in China
The list we’ve put together below mainly includes a list if websites you can’t really log on to from Mainland China, unless you’re using a VPN:
People have nowadays completely embraced video calling as the most efficient method of communicating with loved ones or business associates based in some far away part of the world. The preferred tool of choice for many is Skype, and despite not being fully censored in China, you will have to switch to the Tom version of the app if you do hope to make or receive calls from there. This is mainly because the Tom version is hosted in China, thus giving the Chinese government more control over its use.
As a globally popular messaging platform, Whatsapp is used by over a billion people worldwide, and has a well put together form of end-to-end encryption. That might perhaps be the reason why the app’s use is banned in China as of 2017.
The world’s most popular social media site is also inaccessible within Chinese boundaries. This was done because Chinese authorities wanted to prevent any customer data leaks, and limit the amount of fake information disseminated through Facebook.
Instagram had not been initially blocked, but due to photos of students protesting that got shared through the platform back in 2014, the government shut it down thinking that such photos and other similar ones could be an inspiration for others to engage in demonstrations against the government.
The Chinese people and Google found themselves in a heated dispute back in 2010 regarding the country’s Internet censorship policies. The argument was that Google was not ready to filter the search results as the Chinese had wanted, because they fully support people’s access to information. To try and salvage the situation, Google started redirecting traffic in form of search queries from Google.cn to Google.com.hk, but that didn’t ultimately work since the country went on to ban all Google related products from being used there.
Another major site whose access is also heavily restricted while in China is Youtube. The video sharing platform cannot be accessed in China, and this was done in a bid to cut down competition for their own local video sharing site known as Youku. Just so you know, the site is completely regulated by the government, where content has to be approved before being shared on the platform.
Snapchat fans will have to leave their snapchat accounts dormant for a while once they land in China since users won’t be able to share their short videos on the platform with others. The app is banned since it provides an avenue for users to spread information about the Chinese government.
Chinese authorities have gone on to block certain pages of Wikipedia that could contain misleading information touching on their government, or their history. Rumours are also rife that the Chinese government is very busy spearheading the release of the Chinese Encyclopedia. It seems as though Wikipedia might end up being completely banned once the new platform gets released.
To limit the opportunity that people could have to publish whatever they’d want on the Internet, China’s authorities have also banned the use of free blogging platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress & Blogspot, hence limiting any form of criticism regarding the government that could be put forward.
The Pirate Bay
The number of Torrent sites that you’ll be able to access in China is severely limited, and this is seen from the blocking of major torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay. The Chinese do not condone the distribution of copyrighted material.
China is a deeply conservative country, and so access to pervasive content online such as pornography is denied so as to protect their children, and uphold the respect of women.
Widely popular publications such as Time Magazine, The New York Times and Google News are also prohibited in a bid to limit the consumption of content that harshly criticizes the Chinese government.
Access to Virtual Private Networks is restricted in China obviously because the use of such provides access to all the restricted content that the authorities have gone forward to ban. VPN providers have also been known to continuously be working hard to overcome the Great Firewall of China, which is a combination of technologies meant to regulate Internet access in China. Despite this, there are a couple of VPN providers that have been known to work well in China, and restore access to any prohibited sites.
Website Access Restriction in China – Conclusion
The heavy level of Internet censorship in China isn’t something that user’s will be able to easily brush off, since the Chinese government is very serious on regulating Internet use. One method that you could however use to bypass its many restrictions is to use providers that have been certified to work in Mainland China. Have a look at our list of VPNs that work in China, and let us know which of the providers we’ve listed are best suited for your use.