Did you know that recent Chinese censorship laws have blocked WhatsApp access to its residents? WhatsApp China is no more! And while, globally, authorities censoring the internet has been a custom for years, this step towards blocking messaging applications makes things difficult for many people – both for the residents and visitors of China.
Does WhatsApp work in China? The answer is: not properly, and not consistently. And for some people, they aren’t able to log on to the app at all.
However, there is a solution for getting around the new blocking system: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why WhatsApp is blocked in China, how to unblock WhatsApp so you can access it in China, and an overview of the best VPNs for the job.
Why Is WhatsApp China Blocked?
In case you were unaware, China’s communist government has the power to block access to anything that they think doesn’t align with their principles as a party, meaning the authorities control what people can and can’t see.
As well as censoring popular social media platforms and news sites, China has now turned its attention to messaging apps. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which, it is already known, is heavily censored by the Chinese authorities. They have now tightened their grip on the messaging service, causing problems for its users when trying to share files, photos, and videos, as well as making video calls.
So why has WhatsApp been targeted? One of the most likely reasons why WhatsApp is the latest application to be censored is because it offers end-to-end encryption to its users. This means that all communication on WhatsApp is secured against interceptors. WhatsApp itself is unable to see what its customers are saying to each other. The Chinese authorities don’t like this one bit, because it means they can’t monitor citizen communication – which they deem a threat to the Communist party.
Communication itself isn’t the issue: its the lack of visibility of the communication that bothers the Chinese government. Full blocking hasn’t been a simple journey, and it’s taken the authorities a long time to get to this point. Facebook and Instagram have been blocked for a while, and WhatsApp was the only remaining unblocked app that is owned by Facebook, until now.
Is WhatsApp blocked in China indefinitely? That’s a tough question to answer, and at present, it is not 100% blocked for everyone, as the government knows this could cause outrage amongst its users. But, for the time being, it appears that WhatsApp is restricted in China.
The other option for previous WhatsApp China users is to use WeChat, which is completely controlled and monitored by the Chinese authorities, but it’s easy to understand why this isn’t a popular alternative.
Read on to find out the best way to unblock WhatsApp and protect your anonymity, while securing your data when using the app in China.
How to Unblock Whatsapp in China
For the everyday user, does WhatsApp work in China? With the help of a reliable VPN, it most certainly can, and does. More and more users – both residents and travelers in China – are turning to VPNs to help access their favorite blocked apps and sites.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) gives you the power to alter your IP address, disguising the geographical location of your IP. This means that your server will be spoofed into treating you as though you’re accessing from a different country. WhatsApp is accessible from many other countries, and although it may be blocked in China, the Chinese authorities don’t have control over what IP addresses from other countries are doing – virtual or otherwise.
Use a VPN to bypass the WhatsApp China block, as it also encrypts your data so you can be sure your activities are anonymous and your data is secured. For more information on what VPNs can do for you, check out some of our many articles on the subject.
Not all VPNs are created equal. When choosing a VPN to help you unblock WhatsApp, it’s best to avoid free versions. Aside from the annoying ads, these pose a risk to your online security as they are not as powerfully encrypted as the paid-for versions.
Read on for our pick of the best VPN services to use when dealing with WhatsApp blocked in China.
Best VPNs to Unblock Whatsapp in China
We asked our team of experts about the best VPNs to use when dealing with WhatsApp blocked in China. It’s important to note that the Chinese government has even managed to restrict certain VPNs from accessing WhatsApp, so choose one of our recommended services to avoid falling into this trap.
All our recommended VPNs are tested for reliability, power, security, speed, and sophistication of the encryption software. Here are our 5 favorite VPNs for helping you gain access when using WhatsApp in China. Each one of these has its own merits, costs different amounts and encompasses different features you could want from an online privacy solution.
In answer to your question: ‘does WhatsApp work in China?’ – with these VPNs, we guarantee it does.
You can find out more information about each of these services by clicking on the link, or by reading our articles on the best VPNs on the market.
The Chinese authorities are no match for any of these high-quality, yet inexpensive VPNs.
Are Free VPNs an Option?
If you’ve browsed for VPNs at all, you’ll have noticed a number of free VPN services are available, but you should be wary of any online security services that you don’t pay for. It would be unwise to assume that WhatsApp blocked in China would suddenly be accessible with the use of a free VPN.
Free VPNs tend to have much slower connection speeds, restricted bandwidth (making torrenting difficult), fewer servers available to connect to, and the likelihood of being exposed to annoying ads, as well as security.
Opting for the full VPN service from one of our approved providers is a much better option, and ensures you reliable security when traveling abroad.
Does WhatsApp work in China? With a great VPN, it will.