What are the list Of top blocked websites in China (2018)?
Did you know that China is one of the countries with the most restricted internet? Back in 2010, the Chinese government blocked more than 1.3 million websites. The number of blocked websites continues to grow, even though, some previously blocked websites, such as LinkedIn have been unblocked.
If you are a citizen, you are probably used to this. But, those of you planning to travel to China might find the internet restriction to be unrealistic.
In this article, we have covered the top blocked websites and reasons for blocking. Also, you will learn how to bypass the ‘Great Firewall of China’ via VPN service.
Top reasons why China blocks websites
Everyone in the world, including China, received the internet with a lot of enthusiasm. During its inception in the early 90s, it was speculated that internet would change the world. And, well, it has. What the Chinese government did not anticipate is that it would not be able to control it. The internet allows limitless access to information, which is a factor that does not sit well with the authoritarian regime in the country.
That said, here are the top three reasons websites are blocked in China.
- Freedom of speech control
Through social media sites, news sites, and blogs, people can freely air their views, including their political opinions. But, the Chinese government likes to have control over the information that reaches the people to avoid political unrests.
- Restrict access to sensitive content
In China, almost all pornographic websites are blocked. That is not a really bad thing if you are not into adult content. However, sensitive content in the eyes of the Chinese government also includes information about the country’s dark history and any information that appears to criticize the government.
- To protect local businesses
One of the reasons China has risen to become one of the greatest economies is the fact that the government promotes local businesses over foreign companies. For example, instead of Google Search, there is Baidu. Similarly, instead of YouTube, there is Youku.
Which Popular websites are blocked in China?
The following is a list of blocked websites and a short explanation for the blocking
Google Search, Google +, Gmail, Google Drive and other Google products are blocked in China. Blocking of these sites restricts people to sites controlled by the government. Most of these sites have China-based alternatives. In 2014, Google Maps was unblocked.
Facebook access restriction started in July 2008. But after the 2009 riots in Xinjiang, the site was permanently blocked. Other social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are also blocked.
3. The New York Times
The New York Times is one of the most comprehensive global news sites. But, after publishing news about corruption within the Chinese government, the site was blocked. Other global news sites inaccessible in China include Bloomberg, The Independent, Wall Street Journal, BBC, and Reuters.
The reason why YouTube is inaccessible in China is the same reason why social media sites and news sites are blocked – to prevent the spread of ‘harmful information’.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messenger (IM) app in the world. Since September 2017, most WhatsApp users in China cannot do as much as send a text. Blocking of the site was only imminent considering it was blocked for a few days in July the same year. However, the government has not officially made a statement confirming whether the blocking is temporary or permanent.
Other IMs not available in China include Telegram and Line.
That PornHub is not available in China is not a big surprise considering the country’s strict laws against pornography. Actually, no porn site is accessible in the country.
7. The Pirate Bay
After a crackdown on torrent sites all over the world, The Pirate Bay is one of the few that is still functional. The site is blocked in China as it promotes piracy of different materials including music, films, and television shows. And, of course, it contains sensitive content.
The world’s most resourceful encyclopedia is not available in China. This is because the site contains some information that is unfavourable to the regime. It is rumoured that the government will launch an alternative later in the year.
WordPress and other blogging sites such as Google’s Blogger are illegal in China. They would promote the spread of uncensored information in the country.
How to access the blocked websites in China
There are several ways to bypass geo-blocking. These include:
- Using VPN services such as LimeVPN
- Using an IP anonymizer tool such as Tor browser
- Using proxy websites
- Changing your DNS server to open DNS services like OpenDNS
- Utilizing the RSS Feed of the blocked website
Access blocked websites easily using VPN service
Of all the methods mentioned above, the easiest to use and most effective is VPN service. A Virtual Private Network connects an internet user to the internet via a private network. Connecting to the internet via a public network allows sniffers, such as government authorities and hackers, to not only intercept the data you are requesting but also to see your IP address. With your IP address, these sniffers will know your exact location.
A VPN service ensures privacy because it masks the IP via tunnelling protocols which are heavily encrypted. So, such a service will fool a sniffer into thinking the IP of the VPN service provider is your IP.
Good VPN providers have servers in different locations all over the world. Let’s say you are in China and you want to access a blocked site such as Facebook. All you have to do is open your VPN application and choose a server in a country that does not restrict access to Facebook such as the USA. You are now good to go.