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ExpressVPN Works in China in 2022 (But Only If You Do This!)

Most VPNs don’t stand a chance of getting past the Great Firewall of China, but ExpressVPN has no problem getting over its blocks. Thanks to its advanced features and technologies, you can access your favorite streaming platforms, social media, and websites on the internet from anywhere in the world — including China.

To bypass China’s firewall, it uses obfuscation, DNS and IP leak protection, split tunneling, a kill switch, and automated connections. All of ExpressVPN’s top-class security and privacy features make it possible for you to avoid censorship from anywhere.

You can test ExpressVPN out for yourself risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you have up to 30 days to claim a refund.

Get ExpressVPN Today

Important! This article is for information purposes only. My team and I don’t condone using a VPN with illegal intentions. China has banned the use of non-government-approved VPNs, however, no tourist has ever been charged for using one. Use a VPN at your discretion and always adhere to the laws of the country you are in.

Quick Guide: How to Use ExpressVPN in China in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download ExpressVPN. Make sure you sign up and download ExpressVPN to your device before you arrive in China.
  2. Connect to a server. Choose a server of your choice from the list.
  3. Freely browse the internet! All you need to do is access your favorite websites.

How to Set Up ExpressVPN in China (+ Make Sure It Works)

The most important thing you need to do is install ExpressVPN before you arrive in China. Its website is blocked there, so you won’t be able to access it once you arrive in the country.

The process itself is straightforward — connect your VPN, set it up to start automatically, then enable the kill switch and DNS and IP leak protection. This combination of features will provide you with a reliable connection that can bypass China’s Great Firewall.

How to Set ExpressVPN to Start Automatically

To keep your connection on at all times, you need to set ExpressVPN to start automatically. This is very important — if you forget to turn on the VPN before you access a website, the firewall will block you. You can do this in 2 easy steps:

  1. Access the settings. This is in the “Options” area when you click in the top left corner of the VPN.
  2. Check the boxes next to “Launch ExpressVPN on startup” and “Connect to the last used location when ExpressVPN is launched.” These 2 features will make sure you’re always connected to the right server when your device starts.
Screenshot of ExpressVPN's launch on startup settings

Setting ExpressVPN to launch on startup will keep you protected at all times

How to Enable the Kill Switch

The kill switch will instantly cut your connection to the internet if the VPN fails. As long as you’re in China, you need to keep it on at all times. Once the firewall identifies you, it will permanently block your access. You can activate the kill switch in 2 steps:

  1. Open the general settings. You’ll find this under “Options” when you click in the top left corner of the VPN.
  2. Activate the kill switch. Check the box next to “Stop all internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly.”
A screenshot of ExpressVPN's kill switch settings

Activate ExpressVPN’s kill switch to keep your identity hidden if the connection drops

How to Use the DNS and IP Leak Protection

DNS and IP leaks can leave your real IP exposed in front of the firewall. If the VPN fails or the browser sends WebRTC requests, your access will be restricted. You can activate the DNS and IP leak protection in 2 steps:

  1. Open Advanced Settings. Advanced Settings are in the “Options” area under the cog icon.
  2. Enable IP leak prevention. Check the boxes next to “Prevent IPv6 address detection while connected” and “Only use ExpressVPN DNS servers while connected.”
Screenshot of ExpressVPN's DNS and IP leak settings

This will help you stay anonymous at all times while browsing in China

Get ExpressVPN Today

What to Do if ExpressVPN Still Doesn’t Work in China?

If you encounter any problems, the first thing you need to do is disconnect from the internet and try these fixes.

  • Reconnect your VPN – The VPN may stop working due to a poor internet connection or a technical error. If your internet speed is not very fast, it can take up to 30 seconds to establish a connection with the server, or it can even fail completely. Make sure to wait for the “connected” status before you start browsing again. If it still results in an error, you can try reinstalling it — make sure you have the executable file before you do this, as you won’t be able to download it again while you’re in China.
  • Set the protocol to Automatic – If you make any changes to the ExpressVPN client, the connection may stop. Make sure your protocol is set to automatic, as it will find the right combination to bypass the Great Firewall of China. Not all protocols use obfuscation, so you need to allow it to choose the right configuration.

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's automatic protocol settings

    Allow ExpressVPN to choose the protocol automatically for the best connection

  • Clear your browser caches – Websites usually block the VPN’s IP addresses if they generate too many requests, and can also block the user’s cookies. To fix this problem, go into your browser’s settings and delete your cache. If you don’t want to delete everything, only select the website that’s not working before you erase them.
  • Contact customer support – If you’re unsure, you can always contact ExpressVPN’s customer support and ask for guidance. Since the website is blocked in China, just send an email to support@expressvpn.zendesk.com. The support team is prompt and will give you an answer within 24 hours.

FAQs on Using ExpressVPN in China

Can I use ExpressVPN on my Android or iOS phone in China?

Yes, you can. ExpressVPN has native apps for all major platforms, including iOS and Android. It has integrated the OpenVPN protocol in its apps, so you can easily access the internet in China. Just set the protocol to automatic, which will allow the VPN to choose the best option for you. Be sure to download ExpressVPN before you arrive in China, as you won’t be able to access the website once you’re in the country.

Is it legal to use a VPN in China?

Some VPNs are authorized in China, but they are heavily regulated by the Chinese government. You will have no privacy when using the available VPNs in China. If you want to protect your privacy and security while you travel to the country, you need an outstanding VPN that can bypass the Great Firewall of China, such as ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that works in China, and it comes with fast speeds and servers across the globe. Note that you’ll need to install ExpressVPN before you arrive in China, otherwise you won’t be able to access it.

Why is the internet censored in China and which websites are blocked?

The Great Firewall of China was established to control and restrict the information that Chinese residents can access. The government doesn’t want its people interacting with foreign content, ideas, and beliefs, which can be difficult to adjust to if you’re visiting from another country.

If you go to China, you’ll find that you won’t be able to access the following sites unless you use a quality VPN:

  • Streaming platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, etc.
  • Social media websites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • News providers: BBC, NY Times, Bloomberg, NBC, etc.
  • Search engines: Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.
  • Messaging services: WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, etc.

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that can bypass the Great Firewall of China. Just be sure to install it before you arrive, as its website is blocked there.

Can I install ExpressVPN on my router in China?

Yes, you can. In fact, it’s even better to install ExpressVPN on your router when you’re in China. This way, all your devices can connect to it and stay protected — it’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and all other major platforms. Besides, you don’t have to worry about accidentally closing the connection. The VPN will stay on all the time, preventing any irreversible disconnects.

How does ExpressVPN bypass the Great Firewall of China?

ExpressVPN’s state-of-the-art security and privacy features mean that you can easily bypass China’s firewall. It uses AES-256 encryption, modern protocols, and features such as an instant kill switch, obfuscated servers, and split tunneling to ensure your real IP address is never revealed. As long as you subscribe to ExpressVPN before you arrive in China, you won’t have a problem bypassing its firewall and accessing the internet as usual.

Bypass the Great Firewall of China with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has all the tools you need to bypass China’s Great Firewall. It scrambles your metadata using obfuscation, keeps you anonymous with its DNS and IP leak protection, and bypasses the firewall without much of a hassle. Plus, ExpressVPN doesn't have servers in China which means that it doesn't have to conform to its strict data-logging policies. So, your browsing activity will stay completely private.

You can try ExpressVPN out for yourself risk-free. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out for yourself completely risk-free. If you’re not pleased with it, you can get a full refund.

Get ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

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About the Author

MJ has been writing and editing for over a decade. A multi-published fiction short story writer, MJ is also a diligent researcher who has written about numerous products and services, including digital marketing tools.

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