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Full List of Websites & Apps That Are Banned in China (Updated) Full List of Websites & Apps That Are Banned in China (Updated)
Photo: KnowInsider
China blocks thousands of websites (more than 8,000 websites to date) using its filtering system, “The Great Firewall”. Photo:

The Chinese government is recognized as one of the busiest internet censors. If you live in the mainland or are visiting, you will not be able to access a large range of content from outside the nation, such as Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and most major international news websites. The public is continually battling this expanding problem, but winning the battle is difficult.

Access the free and open Internet with a VPN

VPNs are a crucial tool both in China and around the globe. They thwart the majority of attempts to monitor online activity by converting common, unencrypted internet traffic into information. A VPN converts all data into code rather than sending it over the internet in an open format. This not only keeps nosy neighbors from watching what you do, but it also makes it challenging to block websites. Simply put, the Great Firewall of China cannot block something if it is unknown to it what you are attempting to access.

You can do the following in China by using a VPN in addition to simply accessing blocked websites:

• Bypass throttling efforts against foreign websites enacted by the Great Firewall.

• View social media sites, forums, blogs, and foreign news sites filtered in China.

• See search engine results the Chinese government doesn’t want you to see.

• Access websites completely blocked by the Chinese authorities.

• Keep your identity and activity completely safe and private.

Stream videos otherwise unavailable inside of China.

Best VPNs to Unblock Any Site Inside China

Photo: VPN Client
Photo: VPN Client

1. NordVPN – Best for China – NordVPN was built specifically to combat government censorship. They’ve built up the most impressive cybersecurity features that can break through the world’s harshest internet restrictions, like the Great Firewall.

2. Surfshark – An affordable VPN that “just works” without requiring exceptional user knowledge of advanced encryption protocols.

3. ExpressVPN – Great for bandwidth-starved networks, thanks to its low encryption overhead and speedy servers.

4. IPVanish – Offers an ideal balanced of privacy, performance, and price.

5. VyprVPN – One of the most capable providers at breaking through the Great Firewall, thanks to its Chameleon protocol.

Is it Legal to Use a VPN?

Disclaimer: If you decide to use a VPN, you do so at your own risk because we are not qualified to provide any legal advice.

Given that a VPN (virtual private network) uses a technology created to extend the advantages of private networks to connections that browse the Internet, our interpretation is that using a VPN is not in and of itself illegal (or for use on a public network).

A VPN is therefore software created to increase the security of your connection (click here to learn the technical details). To specifically shield their internal network from the public, many universities and presumably Chinese government offices use VPN systems.

Therefore, the issue is more with you accessing websites that are blocked in China than it is with using a VPN. Is that an offense? In actuality, we are clueless and therefore unable to provide any guidance.

Practically speaking, we believe that the Chinese government could care less if you use a VPN to access your Dropbox or Facebook account.

Naturally, whether using a VPN or not, if you intend to use the Internet fraudulently, be aware that you're taking a risk both inside and outside of China.

What about Chinese websites?

In general, Chinese websites all function and load incredibly quickly. Be aware that some Chinese websites won't function properly if you're using a VPN (for instance, many of the videos on Youku won't be accessible). This is so that you can "mask" your Chinese IP address with an IP address from another country when using a VPN to access websites that are only available in China.

Retain open internet access while traveling to China

Everyone who uses the internet from the Chinese mainland is impacted by the Great Firewall of China, even visitors. It can be upsetting to discover that your Facebook account or email service has been blocked overnight.

There are a few steps you may take before traveling to China to make sure you stay connected to the open internet you know and love.

Download your VPN before you leave

China's censorship regulations are always changing. While some websites quietly exit the blockade, others vanish without warning. Depending on the VPN you use, you might discover that the main website is completely inaccessible from inside the nation.

Make sure to register for a VPN account and keep it active throughout your visit to China. Before you leave, make sure everything is prepared and download the VPN.

Prepare your mobile devices

The majority of us conduct the majority of our online interactions via our smartphones. The Great Firewall places restrictions on mobile data and Wi-Fi connections, so you'll need to download and set up your smartphone VPN apps before you enter the country.

For additional offline security, you should also encrypt your iPhone or Android phone before you depart.

Avoid using free VPNs

Free VPNs may only cause problems. Although it could be tempting to use them in an emergency, especially if you failed to sign up for a true VPN before boarding the plane, the risks to your privacy outweigh the benefits. Many free VPNs gather, market, and partner with governments to spy on users while also collecting and selling user data.

You might be giving the Chinese government access to your data if you use a free VPN. For ensured online protection, use the sections above to investigate and choose a powerful, dependable, and affordable VPN.

Top 9 Best FREE VPNs to Watch World Cup 2022 in Any Country Top 9 Best FREE VPNs to Watch World Cup 2022 in Any Country

Full List of Websites and Apps that AREN’T Blocked in China

(Updated in April 2023 by

Below is a non-exhaustive list of websites and apps that are popular in the West that haven’t yet been blocked in China:

Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+: These stream sites are technically not blocked in China. The websites are accessible, but you'll still encounter a "Sorry, our service hasn't come to this country yet" message because the content isn't legally allowed in China. There are ways to still stream Netflix in China despite this practice of geoblocking content.

Banking: Fortunately, you won't have any trouble logging into your bank account online. The websites of any western banks have not yet been blocked in China.

Calls and Video Calls


Skype (not very reliable)





Instant Messaging



Streaming Platforms

HBO Asia (sometimes it has been blocked temporarily)


Search Engines




Email Providers and Work Tools

Yahoo Mail



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