Are you from China or just traveling there? Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked in China. Known for its censorship, the country blocks social media and other websites. In fact, the government currently blocks over 9000 sites. If you try to load the app or go to the website, you’ll get an error message. That includes embedded videos and paid content.
In the last several years, things have not improved. Sometimes, the rules are more strict now. The way to get around this issue is to connect to a VPN. Keep in mind that the Chinese government can take a hard line on VPN usage or a more relaxed stance. That said, they block our site and most VPN sites as well. We advise you to take these steps before you travel to China. Let’s talk about how to keep up your favorite YouTube personalities.
How to Access YouTube in China
Luckily, this is an easy process to follow, at least at this point. In this demonstration, we’ll use the well-known VPN provider, ExpressVPN.
- Sign up for service with ExpressVPN. That includes their 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee. You can sign up using a credit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin. Regardless of which payment option you choose, the VPN account will be ready to use right away.
- Next, you will want to download and install ExpressVPN on the device you want to use. Again, you’ll have a problem if you wait until you are already in China. You can put the app on as many devices as you want and connect on up to 5 of them at a time.
- After authenticating, you’ll want to connect to a server outside the country. That depends on your preference. For the best speeds, their Lightway protocol is one of the fastest in the community.
- Once connected, you can avoid the Great Firewall of China restrictions to access YouTube.
We suggest checking the current restrictions thoroughly. That way, you may avoid any potential conflicts with the Chinese government. As we mentioned, they block many sites. We’ll list the biggest categories and some examples of each. Some of these may surprise you, others may not.
- Comics and fanfiction – Webtoon, Archive of Our Own, Crunchyroll
- Non-Chinese approved search engines – Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo
- Communication tools – Zoom.us
- Image sharing – Pinterest, Imgur, Instagram
- Messaging – Discord, Viber, WhatsApp
- Blogs – Blogspot.com
- Book Publishing – Instafreebie
- Encyclopedia – Wikipedia
- Entertainment – Netflix, NBC, HBO, and various radio stations
- Information – Chinese Entrepreneur Rights Center
- Maps – Chinese Google Maps
- News – All English-speaking news outlets as well as international ones. Some Chinese ones are blocked as well.
- NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) – Not surprisingly, these are sites like Free Tibet, Human Rights Watch, and the Cantonese Independent Magazine
- Shopping – Amazon Japan
- Social – Facebook, Quora, Tumblr
- Web Archiving – Archive.org