Does ExpressVPN work in China? (Only if you do this one thing!)[Jul 2019]
ExpressVPN works well in China and is popular amongst expats here. But there are a few tricks that you need to know before you can get ExpressVPN to work properly in China.
- ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN apps that works well in China.
- Even working VPNs get blocked in China periodically.
- ExpressVPN updates their China-optimized servers frequently so make sure you keep up to date with these changes in order to stay connected. Not all of their servers work in China.
ExpressVPN: One of the best VPNs for China
The internet is heavily censored in China. Virtually all expats and tourists use VPN apps (like ExpressVPN) to connect to blocked websites and apps such as Facebook, Google, Youtube, Instagram, Whatsapp, and more.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN apps to use in China, and it is very popular amongst expats. Most other VPN apps are blocked in the country by the sophisticated blocking technology of the “Great Firewall”.
Even though ExpressVPN can bypass the Chinese internet censorship there are times when all VPNs suffer some blocking or downtime in the country. These VPN outages typically occur during politically sensitive times (March / October meetings in Beijing) or big holidays like Chinese New Year.
How to use ExpressVPN in China – Important Tips!
To make sure you are using ExpressVPN properly in China, follow these important tips:
- When selecting your VPN server in the ExpressVPN app, make sure to choose the China-optimized servers. At the time of this writing these servers are:
Hong Kong – 4
Hong Kong – 5
USA – Los Angeles – 5
Japan – Tokyo – 1
Japan – Tokyo – 3
UK – Wembley
Singapore – Marina Bay
USA – Santa Monica
Other VPN server locations will not work or will be very slow in China.
- Check for any changes to the China-optimized server list. During VPN blockage times, ExpressVPN engineers will usually add new unblocked servers and post their names on the ExpressVPN China Status page (Link should work in China). Alternative link here.
- Download and install ExpressVPN on your devices before coming to China.
The ExpressVPN website is itself blocked in China. The Google Play store is also blocked, too. Download and install ExpressVPN on your phones, computers and tablets before coming to China.
- Make sure you are using the latest version of the ExpressVPN app. Because of the changing nature of VPN blocking in China, it is important to update your ExpressVPN app to the latest version.
- Leave your ExpressVPN app in the default “Automatic” mode and wait for the app to finish attempting connecting.
By default ExpressVPN VPN connection protocol is set to “Automatic”. Don’t change this.
Sometimes the app can take longer than normal to connect to a server when you turn the VPN on. Just wait
- Contact ExpressVPN support if you continue to experience connection problems in China. firstname.lastname@example.org