Social Media Restrictions in China – Will I really have to live without Facebook for a year?
This weeks blog post is written by Gabriella, our Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator. It is an insightful look into social media restrictions in China with tips on how to overcome these issues.
Yes, it’s true what you’ve heard. The Chinese Government has kept tight reins on social media over the years in order to avoid any potential subversion of its authority. For years Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been blocked by the “Great Firewall“, meaning that these social media platforms have been restricted for those living in China.
I know what you are thinking…Will I really have to survive without Facebook or Instagram for a whole year?
There is no need to panic, the answer is no!
Getting around this issue is not as hard as you would think, in fact it’s very simple. People now download software that will connect them to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and it is this that bypasses the censors as it marks your I.P address, tricking the censoring into thinking you are connected to the US or Japan, or example, even though you are in China – giving you access to all the social media platforms and websites you enjoy.
Many teachers download their VPN software before they travel to China, as the restrictions will make the download more difficult if they wait till they arrive in the country.
It is obvious that you are going to want to use a VPN with the best performance rating and the most servers. Just a few VPN providers are:
ExpressVPN: has the best performance rating, is easy to set up and has servers in lots of different countries.
VyprVPN: has a similar performance rating to ExpressVPN, is easy to set up, however, has fewer servers.
Even though there are several free options available, these are not always reliable and will be very slow. You can forget about posting on Facebook or watching YouTube videos when using free VPN software as unfortunately you won’t be able to do anything other than browse your Facebook and Twitter feeds.
WeChat may be something you have never heard of before, but right now it’s the most important app in China! WeChat users can do just about anything on this app including;
- Play games
- Send money to people
- Order food
- Read the news
- Make video calls
- Book a doctors appointment
- And more!
Downloading this app is essential when going to China as WeChat has now taken over emailing, messaging, phone calls, payments and more. In other words, everything is done over WeChat, and is a simple platform for you to use when communicating with others in China.
Opportunity China regularly update our jobs board with exciting opportunities in China, view the latest here!