Rumour has it that Whatsapp is blocked in China, due to the multiple censorship laws and blockages screened by the Great Firewall. But, don’t worry!
I’ve laid out the best VPNs to help you unblock Whatsapp in China. Interested to know how? Then read on!
WhatsApp – China
Whatsapp in China has been blocked since September 2017, and as much as that puts a cramp into things, it is true. Along with Whatsapp, multiple other international services and websites have been blocked in China too.
Let’s just say that the only way to bypass the Whatsapp blockages in China, is with the help of a secure VPN. Without it, Whatsapp will continue to remain blocked in China, and you won’t be able to make any calls, send texts, pictures, voice notes, or videos.
But no one said that you won’t be able to use it in 2020. Stay connected with me a little longer and I’ll show you just how you can stay connected with one of the best communication platforms in the industry.
Being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, most of us would assume that while being in the 21st century, China would be given a little more freedom. But, sadly, the Chinese government seems to put a huge block on a large number of famous platforms.
Some of these platforms include Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, etc. and among these, include Whatsapp, the most widely used communication app worldwide, blocked by the Great Firewall of China; by the initiation of the Chinese government.
Is China Still blocking WhatsApp?
The thing is, the Chinese government has a very different outlook on allowing the usage of foreign applications, especially ones that have solid encryption strategies, keeping the users’ data safe and out of reach. And let’s just say that the Chinese government doesn’t love that.
The fact that they can’t tip into what everyone is saying, texting, or sharing on Whatsapp just riled them up. So for that, they created WeChat….monitoring every little conversation. I’m not here to make things sound shady, but here to tell you all that there’s always a way around these blocks, especially if it’s super-important. So, I can’t really put a reason on why China seems to block multiple platforms.
However, what I can tell you is that, if you’re a local and really liked being on Whatsapp or a foreigner traveling the streets of China, this guide is for you. It’ll show you how to unblock Whatsapp in China through a VPN.
WhatsApp in China – Here’s how to overcome the blockage
Let’s leave Whatsapp out of the picture, for just a second. There are so many other websites or services out there that China and many other countries have put a solid block on. However, that’s never stopped the majority of us from finding newer ways to gain access.
Now coming back to Whatsapp, we’ve established that China doesn’t accept many apps, shows or other platforms of entertainment or communication to be used within its jurisdiction. Mainly ones that aren’t locally broadcast-ed. China loves keeping an eye on what its people are involved in.
So in case, you’re wondering how to access Whatsapp, let me just tell you that using a VPN is by far one of the best ways. It’s compatible with not only just phones but multiple other platforms. Of course, not all VPNs are applicable. Some either don’t have enough means of security while others just simply don’t unblock Whatsapp.
However, as compared to other websites, services, or apps that are blocked in China, we also need to keep in mind that Whatsapp, unlike other platforms blocked in China, is mainly used as a mobile application. So, coming up with solutions to access it should be relevant according to that. Meaning the VPN you choose has to be able to support mobile devices.
Below are some of the best, providing top VPN services in the industry. They’ll allow you to stay connected with the world through Whatsapp while having extremely strong security features that can break through the Great Firewall of China. They also offer pretty great VPN deals that are the most affordable right now. They are:
- Surfshark – all-rounder VPN for accessing Geo-restricted platforms at $2.49/mo.
- NordVPN – Leak protected VPN capable of breaking through restricted websites at $3.71/mo.
- ExpressVPN – Multi-purposeful VPN with a large number of server locations at $6.67/mo.
- FastestVPN – producing steady speeds and security for all your online needs at $0.83/mo.
- Windscribe – Freemium VPN providing IP and malware protective services at $4.08/mo.
And speaking of gaining access to Whatsapp, China, in general, seems to block off unlimited services, websites, shows, and much more. The VPNs chosen were picked for being the best to unblock Whatsapp, and just imagine how many more websites/platforms they’re capable of unblocking!
Unblock WhatsApp in China – What makes these VPNs so special?
Like I mentioned before, there are many good VPNs out there but not all are capable enough to unblock some of the most famous platforms worldwide; especially since China’s Great Firewall tries hunting and knocking them down. The VPNs mentioned were chosen due to them being able to bypass these restrictions without getting throttled by the Chinese government.
Secondly, since China is always on the lookout for VPNs and monitors its population’s activities, it’s best you choose a VPN that works towards both security and privacy. So here’s a little background about why these 5 VPNs are a top pick for accessing Whatsapp:
|Servers||1700+ servers in 64 countries|
- Surfshark is ranked as an all-rounder VPN in the industry, known for having some of the best speed results.
- It observes strict no data-retention or logging policies, providing access to a large number of restricted websites or services around the globe.
- Some of these services include Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more.
- Keeping that in mind, it also makes the perfect option for unblocking Whatsapp from wherever you may be, including China.
- I picked Surfshark also because of its inclusion of locations around China like Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, and South Korea, etc. in its server list.
- If Chinese authorities try and track down which locals are attempting to use Whatsapp through a VPN, Surfshark comes with strong security measures. Some of it include DNS/IP protection, military encryption, major protocols, and a Kill Switch.
- Surkshark supports a number of major platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, Firestick, macOS, and more.
- It’s both streaming and P2P compatible.
There are so many other top potential features that this VPN provides, which you can also check out in a detailed Surfshark review. If you’re about to travel to China, you probably should try out the VPN before investing. Even though Surfshark is a budgeted choice, it offers a free trial and a 30-day refund.
|Servers||5000+ in 59 countries|
- Similar to Surfshark, we have NordVPN. It’s another great VPN provider that ranks as having all-round security, as well as other features, rich enough to get you to access Whatsapp.
- Some of the NordVPN features include DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protected. It also comes with a Kill Switch, and a CyberSec feature, which is perfect to mask your location and keep your data from leaking just in case the connection drops.
- It doesn’t have any servers in China but can still work effectively due to possessing locations of countries that neighbor China, like Hong Kong and South Korea.
- Yes, you could also use one of its US servers, but if you want to access Whatsapp in China, as well as great speeds, it’s always wiser to connect to servers that are located closer to you, unless it’s for US Netflix.
- NordVPN has over 5000 servers. Some of its servers will not only let you access Whatsapp but other restricted services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and much more.
- It also supports streaming and torrenting.
- The NordVPN app is compatible with numerous platforms. Some include Windows, macOS, Firestick, iOS, and Android.
NordVPN is one of the best in the industry to date that works in China, and one of the best to unblock Whatsapp. The app even comes with a free trial for smartphones and a 30-day refund. It has much more to offer in performance. If you’d like to look more into it with great detail, definitely check out a NordVPN review.
|Servers||3000+ servers in 94 countries|
- This British Virgin Island VPN lands on the top list of contenders for being able to break through geo-blocks with a large number of its servers.
- Using bank-grade encryption, a Kill Switch and DNS, IP, WebRTC protection, it becomes one of the best choices for accessing Whatsapp in China.
- ExpressVPN produces amazing speeds and other nifty features that you can see in a detailed ExpressVPN review.
- It not only is the best option for accessing Whatsapp in China but also opens up portals to other restricted websites or services. Some of these include Netflix, HBO, Hulu, DAZN, BBC iPlayer, and much more.
- It also possesses a unique Smart DNS feature called MediaStreamer that aids in unblocking these services.
- All you need to do is connect to one of its Asian servers neighboring China and you’re good to go or even a US server for good speeds.
- It also supports a large number of devices and apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, and more!
ExpressVPN is a great VPN for unblocking Whatsapp in China. You can even put it to the test either using its 7-day free trial for Android and iOS mobile devices or use its 30-day refund on top of a paid subscription.
|Servers||350+ servers in 39+ Locations|
- FastestVPN is one of the budgeted choices, which work great for unblocking Whatsapp in China.
- Hailing from the Cayman Islands, this VPN is known for having great speeds and is trustworthy for keeping all your data secure with its strict privacy policies and no-data retention laws.
- It packs a small list of servers but as the saying goes, big things come in small packages and FastestVPN sure delivers.
- FastestVPN is listed among the few VPNs that provide access to restricted services like Netflix, and in this case, it applies to Whatsapp as well. It makes sure you stay well-hidden and secured.
- It supports multiple platforms, so now you can access Whatsapp not only on your phone but on multiple devices. Some of these platforms include Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS. FastestVPN also makes a great app for a Chrome extension.
- To get the best results and amazing speeds, just like the other VPNs, you should connect to an Asian server around China or the US if needed.
- It also has pretty solid security measures and features with impenetrable encryption and the widest list of protocols, NAT Firewall, Kill Switch, and much more.
FastestVPN doesn’t have a free trial but comes with a pretty reliable 15-day refund period. For more on the app have a look at my detailed FastestVPN review.
|Servers||100+ servers in 60+ countries|
- Windscribe is a renowned freemium VPN, with origin in Canada. Yes, it’s within the 14-eyes alliance but it observes very strict copyright policies, keeping its users’ data secure.
- This is another VPN with a simple server list (100+ servers in 60+ countries) but holds a big impact on overall performance.
- It has heavy encryption and includes all the major protocols, provides static IP, is malware and leak protected, and more.
- It works steadily for gaining access to restricted platforms and streaming services like that of Netflix and now is applicable towards gaining full functionality on Whatsapp.
- To gain full access, connect to one of its servers that surround China, like Hong Kong, India, and South Korea.
- One unique aspect of this VPN is that it has dedicated servers towards Netflix, called Windflix. This is dedicated to unblocking Netflix, mainly.
- Windscribe also supports multiple platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS, and much more if needed.
Windscribe doesn’t have a free trial, but it has a free version. However, the features of the free app are very limited. This won’t be the best idea if you’re trying to gain access to Whatsapp in China. It also has a 3-day refund period for testing purposes. For more on the VPN, check out an extensive Windscribe review.
How to unblock WhatsApp in China
Now that we’ve discussed some of the best VPN services for China, known for unblocking banned services like Whatsapp, here are a few steps on how to get you started. Here’s how:
- First, choose a VPN that’s accessible towards unblocking Whatsapp and bypassing other restrictions against the Great Firewall. I recommend Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, FastestVPN, and Windscribe.
- Once you choose and subscribe to a VPN, download the app.
- Proceed to install and launch the app.
- Connect to one of the servers neighboring China or to a US server for the best results. I chose a US server because of its ability to unblock restricted websites worldwide.
- Then proceed to download and install Whatsapp, either from the Play Store or Apple Store and install it. If that doesn’t work, try it from the Whatsapp website.
- Lastly, start Whatsapping!
Why do you need a VPN to unblock WhatsApp in China?
As mentioned before, China is always on the move to crack down on the usage of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and so many more famous websites including Whatsapp.
The main reason behind its ban on Whatsapp is because of its end to end encryption. This is why China introduced its local communication app called WeChat that lacks privacy on every level.
It’s also completely understandable for most of the locals to still want to gain access to Whatsapp despite the huge block put its way. Who wouldn’t want to exercise their own right to freedom of privacy?
So, for this reason, it’s more than advisable to use a VPN when trying to gain access to Whatsapp or platforms like it. The whole point of it is not only about gaining access but rather also about safe and encrypted surfing; making sure that all you do online stays anonymous and secure.
In case China is next on your vacation bucket list
For those of you who’re planning your next trip to China, and still want to keep in contact with all your friends and family back home or even just to post all your pictures online for the friends to see, you probably already know that the rule of no Whatsapp in China applies to you as well.
But don’t worry, you’d probably be able to access it way faster or more smoothly as compared to a local. The steps to access it isn’t different as compared to if you’re a local trying to gain access to Whatsapp. All you have to do is:
- Download and subscribe to the VPN app you choose before landing in China
- Once in China, gain access to a good internet provider, buy a local sim card, or roaming.
- Connect to the VPN you subscribed to, choosing a server location that’s close to China like Hong Kong or even try out a US server.
- Then test out Whatsapp.
Is WhatsApp really blocked in China?
Yes, Whatsapp is still blocked in China. It’s been blocked since 2017 and has managed to move into 2020 with the same circumstances. Its ban is induced not only towards Whatsapp but includes multiple other media platforms.
In short, it doesn’t matter if you pay a heap load of money for the best internet services, Whatsapp will continue being blocked. So, for that a VPN is necessary.
Especially since the latest rise in the Covid-19 virus that broke out in China, has left its people as well as foreigners who traveled there for business, in desperate need of speedy and encrypted communication apps like Whatsapp.
Using WhatsApp in China – Is it dangerous using a VPN?
No, it isn’t. Well, not for now at least.
Yes, using Whatsapp and other international platforms is illegal in China but no one mentioned anything about using a VPN.
Just like Whatsapp, there is also a block against other websites or platforms like that of Netflix. People in China have been looking for ways to get access to Netflix over the years. They’ve finally started pulling the reins with the help of a VPN. In the same way, using a VPN for Whatsapp doesn’t seem like a very bad idea.
On the other hand, it’s quite uncanny that VPNs be illegal in China. Think about it for a minute.
If China can easily block off huge platforms like Whatsapp or Facebook, why not block off VPNs all together and save everyone the struggle?
You know why?…
Most businesses in China also revolve around it!
For international businesses to survive in China or vice versa, a VPN is needed to keep in contact, but with permission from the government of course. However, if you’re still unsure, you could always look up any necessary rules or laws on the matter before using a VPN.
6 WhatsApp alternatives for China
Besides Whatsapp, there is a heap load of other platforms similar and different when compared, that is blocked. However, there are multiple alternatives you can try out, but only if you’re okay with the Chinese government keeping track of everything you do online.
These alternatives include:
- Skype (Popular app in North America and accessible in China)
- ezTalks (A professional video conferencing software in China)
- LINE (free application slightly similar to Whatsapp)
- WeChat (Chinese version of Whatsapp, but not as secure)
- Groupme (Mainly for group chats)
- KakaoTalk Messenger (A messaging app also similar to Whatsapp with slight differences)
The most famous alternative platform among this list for Whatsapp is WeChat.
It was designed to possess similar features like Whatsapp. However, the major differences still lie around the fact that there’s absolutely no means of bank-grade or anything grade encryption on it. China created WeChat for the sole purpose of being able to spy on its people.
In case you’re wondering, yes, there are other ways to unblock Whatsapp in China, but none of them will work as effectively. Believe me, when in China, kiss file sharing, calls, and videos goodbye.
There were times when a text message would go through, according to some users, but I doubt it would’ve gone through almost immediately but rather, in a few hours.
The 5 VPNs that I handpicked for unblocking Whatsapp (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, FastestVPN, and Windscribe), was not because of their well-known brands, but because these were tried and tested; ultimately proven to work effectively by simply just changing your Chinese IP with that of neighboring companies or US servers.