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Popular Websites Blocked in China by the Firewall

Popular Websites Blocked in China by the Great Firewall


As you may know, many popular foreign websites blocked in China bring troubles to frequent users of these sites.

The only way to access to these sites is with a proxy or with a VPN Service,

​This often causes a lot of inconvenience especially for foreign travelers, expats, staff working in foreign invested companies in China, and some small business owners dealing in foreign trade, who has got used to visit these websites.

What are these websites and why they are blocked in China?

Why Some Websites Are Blocked in China

If you don’t completely comply with the Chinese government’s regulations in censoring sensitive information, there’s a good chance the Great Firewall of China will shut you down.

Major reasons why some popular sites are blocked in China:

  • The website content violate Chinese law (including pornographic, gambling or terrorist content).
  • The site contains discordant elements, such as politically sensitive information.
  • Domestic DNS instability.
  • The IP of the website falls in the same IP segment of other blocked websites.

Be sure that you will not make these mistakes.

Websites in China: Blocked, Not Blocked?


Foreign Services / Websites Blocked in China

Google Maps, Best Maps App in China

We list these overseas popular websites/services which are blocked in China at the moment.

The list might be changing and it is just for reference.​


Foreign Services / Websites Working in China

Not all foreign websites/services are blocked, here are some typical popular foreign websites which are working fine in China. Some services can work in China with a local partner running a fully localized China business, like Skype.

China Local Websites/Services

The absence of most foreign popular websites leaves the opportunity for many internet startups in China.

Popular Websites Blocked in China


Social Media Platforms Blocked


Most major social networking platforms, blog platforms, Image sharing platforms and it is the biggest category of websites blocked in China.

  • Facebook: since July 2009
  • Twitter: from 2009 to present
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google+: since July 2011
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
  • Picasa: from July 2009 to present
  • Plurk: from April 2009 to present
  • from October 2011 to present
  • Blogspot: since May 2009, to present
  • Blogger
  • Flickr
  • SoundCloud
  • Hootsuite
  • Kakao Talk
  • Line
  • WhatsApp (partially from Jul. 2017)
  • Xing

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Social Media Platforms Working in China


  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Wechat
  • Weibo
  • QQ

We only list some typical ones working in China.


Search Engines Blocked


  • Google
  • Duck Duck Go
  • Technorati: from July 2008 to present

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Search Engines Working


  • Baidu
  • 360
  • Sougou
  • Bing


Newspaper, News Agency Websites Blocked

  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The Economist
  • Bloomberg
  • Reuters
  • LeMonde
  • L’Equipe
  • Google News

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News Websites Working

  • CNN
  • BBC


Video Websites Blocked


  • Netflix
  • Youtube: from March 2009 to present
  • Vimeo
  • Hulu
  • DailyMotion

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Video Sharing Websites Working

  • Youku TuDou
  • Tencent Video
  • iQiyi
  • Sohu Video


Wiki / Knowledge Sharing Websites Blocked


  • Wikipedia
  • Wikileaks: since Nov 2010

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Wiki / Knowledge Sharing Websites Working


  • Quora
  • Zhihu
  • Baidu Baike
  • Hudong Baike


Work Tools/Services Blocked

Generally all Google services and many very nice web services are blocked.

Google Maps, Best Maps App in China

  • Gmail
  • Google Maps
  • Google Drive
  • Google Docs
  • Google Calendar
  • Dropbox: from May 2010
  • ShutterStock
  • iStockPhotos
  • WayBackMachine
  • many Proxy, and VPN sites.

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Work Tools/Services Working

  • Google Translate
  • Evernote
  • Skype
  • Trello


Porn / Gambling / Illegal

All web sites with pornographic, gambling, terrorist & political sensitive content have been blocked.

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Apps Blocked

Without Google Play working in China, promoting Android apps in China is interesting and challenging since there are hundreds of Android app markets to choose from. Without a VPN you won’t be able to download any apps from Google Play.


  • Google Play
  • Apps for all the relevant websites and services mentioned to be blocked in this page.

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Best VPNs for China

The Best VPNs for China

Some apps don’t work in China since they are blocked by the GFW.

It is a must to use a VPN service to access your Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, etc.

Consider buying a plan with Express VPN.

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Most Recommended China Market Entry Expert by Paypal

Ms Wang and Iris from Paypal China interviewed me in a rainy day this fall.

It is happy to see several new changes in Paypal China and they can help more Chinese cross-border startups and freelancers to expand the overseas business.

Chao's startup story and his successful use of Paypal
Paypal help me expand global business: Chao’s startup story and his successful use of Paypal

Sell My Consulting Services Across Borders

I help my foreign clients find their profitable niche markets in China and they need my service in the market entry and business growth.

I am a heavy Paypal user and I integrate various Paypal buttons to sell my service products. With the help of Paypal services, I can quickly set up my shopping cart, create my own subscriptions without big investment.

Paypal buy button

suitable for express checkout.

Chao created paypal buy button to sell his Expert Review service on Clients' Chinese websites or apps
Chao created paypal buy button to sell his Expert Review service on Clients’ Chinese websites or apps

Paypal subscriptions

create monthly plan, it is especially great for longterm contract.

Chao’s WeChat monthly plans are popular service packages for many clients


Paypal shopping cart

sometimes, one single product will not be sufficient for a single client, provide shopping cart so clients won’t bother to come back and forth.

paypal-shopping cart
Clients needs us to write many web copies, and prefer different service levels. A shopping cart is convenient.

Combined with shopping cart and subscription

Strategic Services

For most strategic services, I use discovery contract to do the initial study and work on the dedicated proposal for serious clients.

A Paypal button is quite convenient to work it out.

dsicovery contract
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It is quite common to see many Chinese cross-border merchants selling physical products. But selling services in this way is quite rare for Chinese startups.

I think this is why they are so curious and one more thing which is important is, they know I really sell. I answered many questions on my businesses and shared some real stories.

It was quite an interesting experience since I also helped in a short interview video sharing my cross border business with Paypal experience.

Paypal Stories of Successful China Merchants
Paypal Stories of Successful China Merchants

They wrote my story, put it in Paypal Stories, and recommend me to be the choice of China market entry expert, my video was also placed on the Paypal freelancer’s homepage.

Interview Video on My Cross-border consulting business put on Paypal Merchants individual startup/freelancer homepage.
Interview Video on Chao’s Cross-border consulting business put on Paypal Merchants individual startup/freelancer homepage.