If you are moving or travelling to China, you are going to need to prepare for the censored internet in the country. As you might already know, many popular apps and websites are blocked in the country, including Facebook, Google, Youtube, Instagram, Whatsapp and others.

While Netflix is not blocked by the Chinese Great Firewall, Netflix itself has strict geo-restrictions on its video libraries. At this moment, Netflix has not made itself available to users in China and Netflix will block or interrupt any streaming to IP addresses in China.

If you try to visit the Netflix website in China, you will be greeted by this message:

In order to watch Netflix in China, follow these steps:

How to watch Netflix in China (step-by-step instructions)

  1. Download a VPN (we recommend ExpressVPN): A VPN (virtual private network) app will encrypt and route your internet traffic through a server in a different country (like the US or Canada), which will trick Netflix into thinking your are not in China.
  2. Setup your account: Pay for a plan and get your login credentials. ExpressVPN will supply you with an activation code that you will use to install the app.
  3. Turn on your VPN app and choose a US server location: US Netflix usually has most video content. You can change your server location to other countries to see what other content is available that might not show up in US Netflix.
  4. Test your VPN with Netflix: With your VPN turned on and connected to a US server, go to Netflix and try streaming a video to confirm everything works.
  5. Install your VPN on all your devices: If you want to be able to watch Netflix on your mobile devices, go ahead and download and install your VPN on those devices, too. ExpressVPN has apps for Android and iOS — download them from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  6. Install your VPN on your router (optional): Some devices are unable to install VPN apps (smart home devices, Google Chromecast, etc) so you will need to install your VPN on your router (if it is Tomato or DD-WRT) to be able to use Netflix on those devices.

Which VPN is best for Netflix?

Netflix tries to detect when a proxy or VPN is used to access geo-restricted content (like other country libraries) and will give you this message if your VPN is black listed:

If you are going to use a VPN or proxy with Netflix, make sure it can work with Netflix. Our #1 recommended VPN, ExpressVPN, works well with Netflix and also works in China. Furthermore, you want to find a VPN that has good download speeds in China — a must when streaming video content.

Which VPN is best for China?

Not all VPNs are made the same. Sophisticated censorship technology in China is capable of detecting and blocking  most simple VPN apps. Only a handful of VPN services work well in China. These are the ones that we have tested and recommend to users in China:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. VyprVPN
  3. Astrill
  4. NordVPN


  • Astrill
  • Speed: Good
  • Reliability: Fair
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Connect 1 Device
  • Protocols: OpenWeb, OpenVPN, Stealth (extra fee), L2TP
  • Supports Mac Os / iOs / Windows / Android / Linux
  • 150+ servers in 50 countries (Choose US West for Fastest Speeds)
  • Wiki, Support Ticket, Live Chat, and Remote Desktop Assistance
  • 7-day Free Trial
  • works with Netflix

#1 Editor’s Choice

  • ExpressVPN
  • Speed: Very Good
  • Reliability: Excellent
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Connect 5 Devices
  • Protocols: PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP, IPsec
  • Supports Mac Os / iOs/ Windows / Android / Linux
  • 1500 servers in 94 countries (Choose Los Angeles 2 or4 , HK 4, for fastest speeds)
  • Instant Response Live Chat Customer Support, Email
  • 30-Day Money Back Trial
  • works with Netflix


  • VyprVPN
  • Speed: Good
  • Reliability: Good
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Connect 3 Devices
  • Protocols: PPTP, OpenVPN, Chameleon, L2TP
  • Supports Mac OS / iOs / Windows / Android / Linux
  • 700 + servers in 49 countries (Choose West Coast US for Fastest Speed)
  • 24x7x365 Support
    Live Chat also available
  • 30-day refund period
  • works with Netflix

Why you can’t use a free VPN for Netflix in China

You’ve already paid enough hard earned money for a Netflix subscription. Paying for a VPN subscription sounds like an annoying added cost! You might be tempted to use a free VPN app…

There are a number of free VPNs (or free-tier VPN plans) available on the internet, however they are not suitable for streaming videos on the internet. Typically, free VPNs will limit your monthly VPN bandwidth to around 500 MB, which you will burn through in about 5 – 10 minutes of streaming.

If you are in China for a short period of time (less than a month), then you are better off signing up for a premium VPN that allows a refund after 30-days (such as ExpressVPN). This way you can enjoy all the benefits of unlimited streaming bandwidth . Your VPN will also be indispensable for accessing other apps and websites that are blocked in China.

BEWARE: Check the terms of your VPN’s refund policy carefully. Some VPN providers will not issue a refund if you exceed some bandwidth threshold.

Can I use a proxy to watch Netflix in China?

Yes — but only on your computer.

A proxy works like a VPN, re-rerouting your internet traffic through an intermediary server. However, a proxy typically only works on web traffic in your internet browser. So if you want to watch Netflix in China on your smartphone,  iPad, or other non-computer devices, you will be out of luck. You will need a VPN for those devices.

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