Which Websites are Banned in China?
So here’s the deal!
But which sites exactly are open, and which websites will you need to download a VPN for before coming to China?
Thanks to the LTL Beijing blog we cover a list of the most popular sites and tell you whether they are blocked or readily available in China. It’s worth noting this can change so be aware of the changes, but we will keep this post up to date so you have the most recent news.
Let’s start with the main websites before going into a big list of websites blocked in China.
Already in China? No problem.
Websites Blocked in China – Google
Websites Blocked in China – Facebook
Websites Blocked in China – YouTube
Websites Blocked in China – Instagram
Websites Blocked in China – Twitter
Websites Blocked in China – Whatsapp
Websites Blocked in China – A Full list of Blocked Sites in China
Websites Banned in China:
Google in China
Nearly all Google services are blocked in China. This includes Gmail and the ability of using a simple Google search. If you don’t have a VPN you’ll have to get off Google and make Bing or Yahoo your new home browser! Or, head to the Chinese Google equivalent Baidu for a real Chinese experience.
Some services, however, such as Google Translate, and recently Google Maps, are unblocked and open for use in China. Although we recommend downloading Baidu maps and using that instead of Google Maps during your time in China, or download Maps.Me for an offline experience.
Websites Banned in China: Facebook in China
Facebook, just like many other social media sites, is blocked in China. Instead, Chinese people use the alternative of WeChat (微信 – Wēixìn) to be social, which is widely seen as China’s answer to WhatsApp – but with its social media style “wall” and ability to do almost anything on the app… It’s so much more!
This Chinese app is a completely must-have Chinese app if you’re coming to visit or live in China.
Websites Banned in China: Youtube in China
Youku(优酷 – Yōu kù) is the Chinese version of YouTube and works just like everyone’s favourite video sharing website. You can upload, watch, comment on, and like various videos. Of course it’s all in Chinese so brush up on your Chinese skills!
Websites Banned in China: Instagram in China
Chinese social media has various platforms, but there isn’t quite one that rivals Instagram exactly – rather, several. The video market has hit China big time – with the public no longer entertained by simple pictures. China loves short Vine-like videos, and live-streaming. A couple of popular video apps are Douyin 抖音 and Kuaishou 快手.
Websites Banned in China: Twitter in China
微博 (Weibo) is China’s answer to the lack of Twitter. Similar to Twitter, users have a limited number of characters to express their opinions and thoughts. Posts are usually about personal lives, rather than touching on political views and current news. Whilst Twitter recently extended its character limit to allow for longer tweets Weibo is yet to follow suit.
This Chinese app is a great one to have and a good way to practice your Chinese.
Websites Banned in China: WhatsApp in China
As mentioned above, since WhatsApp is banned in China (and has been for a few years now) China has it’s own version, and in my opinion better version, called WeChat. On this platform, there are many features that WhatsApp users are missing out on. Not even touching the fact that you can do your shopping, order a taxi and get a rental bike all from the app…
It also happens that websites get blocked and unblocked. For example, it was only recently (July 2018) that the BBC was banned by China.
So, here’s a comprehensive, up-to-date list of all of the websites banned in China.
Websites Blocked in China: List of Sites Blocked in China
Updated for 2019
Google services (most Google services)
The Pirate Bay
Amazon (Amazon Japan, Amazon Germany)
The New York Times
The Epoch Times
New Tang Dynasty Television
Reporters Without Borders
Viet-Nam California Radio
Australia Tibet Council
Central Tibetan Administration
The Cantonese Independent Magazine
Wall Street Journal
Radio Free Asia
Don’t see the website you’re looking for here?
You can head to this website which offers a handy tool to test if the website you want to access is blocked by the Great Firewall of China or not. Or, if you’re in China, you can try to access it. If you can’t – it’s probably blocked. Or you need to sort out tour WiFi.
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