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Popular Websites Blocked in China by the Firewall

ByChao Cheng|Chinese Website

Jul25

Many popular foreign websites are blocked in China. 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
  • WordPress.com: from October 2011 to present
  • Blogspot: since May 2009, to present
  • Blogger
  • Flickr
  • SoundCloud
  • Hootsuite
  • Kakao Talk
  • Line
  • WhatsApp (partially from Jul. 2017)
  • Xing

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

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

News Websites Working

  • CNN
  • BBC

Video Websites Blocked

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

Video Sharing Websites Working

  • Youku TuDou
  • Tencent Video
  • iQiyi
  • Sohu Video

Wiki / Knowledge Sharing Websites Blocked

  • Wikipedia
  • Wikileaks: since Nov 2010

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.

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.

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.

About the Author

Chao is recommended by Paypal to bring overseas brands into the China market. Now he coaches business owners to start up and grow their business in China. Author of Sell Online To China, How to Build A Right Website That Works In China, and a series of China Business Guides.

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