WhatsApp is an excellent messaging app. But if you’re traveling through China or just moved there, you might have noticed you can’t use it anymore. Right now, you might be thinking – does WhatsApp work in China or not?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about that in this article. We’ll also show you how to quickly unblock WhatsApp in China using a simple tool.
In a hurry?
WhatsApp is blocked in China, and the easiest way to unblock it is to use a VPN like NordVPN. It lets you connect to WhatsApp through an IP address the Great Firewall has no control over. VPNs also encrypt your traffic, making your web browsing more secure.
Is WhatsApp Blocked in China?
Yes, WhatsApp is unavailable in China at the moment – and it has been so since 2017. You can’t download and install the app, make video or audio calls, or share files using WhatsApp.
How to Access WhatsApp in China
China blocks WhatsApp – and many other apps and sites – using the Great Firewall of China. It’s a way to control the flow of internet traffic across all networks in China, essentially. The Firewall enforces rules that say you can’t communicate with WhatsApp’s servers. And those restrictions are linked to your IP address – the one your Chinese ISP assigns to you.
To bypass those annoying restrictions, you need to communicate with the web using a new IP address. If the new IP doesn’t have any firewall rules linked to it, you can use it to connect to WhatsApp freely.
The easiest way to change your IP in China is to use a VPN. It’s an online app that hides your IP address by routing your traffic through a VPN server. Anyone or anything you communicate with online will only see the VPN’s IP address.
Also, a VPN encrypts your traffic, making it unreadable. Your ISP won’t even know you’re bypassing the Great Firewall to unblock WhatsApp in China.
How to Pick a VPN to Unblock WhatsApp in China
China enforces VPN blocks, so not all VPNs work there. Also, a VPN should provide some additional features to offer you great value. Here’s what we look for when picking good China VPNs:
- Works in China – the VPN needs to actually work in China. It should aggressively refresh its server IPs to bypass the government’s VPN blocks.
- Has servers near China – nearby VPN servers provide the fastest speeds. Check if the VPN provider has servers in nearby countries like South Korea, Japan, India, and Taiwan.
- Excellent security – the VPN should protect your data with bank-grade encryption. It should also come with a kill switch to prevent traffic leaks.
- No-logs policy – VPNs should never log your IP address and internet traffic. If their no-logs policies have been audited, even better.
- Obfuscation – this feature hides your VPN traffic. So your ISP and government won’t know you’re using a VPN at all.
- Ease of use – the best China VPNs have apps for all platforms. Those apps are also easy to use – they have intuitive designs and quick-connect features.
- Pricing – a good VPN should come with affordable pricing, flexible plans, and generous money-back guarantees.
The Best VPNs to Unblock WhatsApp in China
We tested 30+ of the most popular VPNs on the market to see which ones offer the best experience for our testers in China. Our results show that these are the best VPN services:
NordVPN is an excellent VPN for China – it consistently bypasses VPN blocks and was always able to unblock WhatsApp in our tests. What’s more, NordVPN comes with powerful encryption and traffic obfuscation. Its no-logs policy has also been audited twice and it was a good kill switch.
This VPN also has other features – split-tunneling, a good ad blocker, and double VPN connections. And on top of unblocking WhatsApp in China, it can also unblock tons of other sites. Our research shows that NordVPN consistently works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and more.
We also love how fast this VPN is. When we tested it, we always had blazing-fast speeds. Websites and HD videos loaded instantly for us, and we were even able to download large files in minutes. And you also get access to 5,200+ servers in 60 countries – including nearby countries like Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan.
NordVPN has apps for most platforms – iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. They’re very easy to install and use – even people who never used a VPN will get used to the interface in seconds.
This provider has affordable and flexible plans and backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is really good for using WhatsApp in China. It easily gets around government censorship and unblocks pretty much any site and app. It also has military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy.
On top of that, this VPN service comes with obfuscation. So you can hide your VPN traffic to avoid arousing suspicion.
Despite only having a small network of 200+ servers, the speeds are really good. In our tests, PrivateVPN consistently provided us with fast streaming, browsing, and gaming speeds. Its servers are also located in 60+ countries, so it’s easy to find nearby server locations – like India, Hong Kong, and Japan.
We really like how this VPN allows torrenting on all servers. Also, it can unblock all top streaming sites on the first try.
PrivateVPN is perfect for people new to VPNs. Its design is pretty minimalistic, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, the apps work on the most popular platforms and have 1-click connections.
Finally, this VPN has cheap plans and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark easily unblocks WhatsApp in China and is perfect for large households. This VPN comes with unlimited connections, meaning you can use it on as many devices as you want. So if you have a large family, everyone in your house can unblock WhatsApp and other sites with this VPN.
Surfhsark secures your traffic with high-end end-to-end encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Its No-Borders feature is enabled by default, and it helps you bypass firewall restrictions on networks. There’s also obfuscation whenever you use the OpenVPN protocol, so your VPN traffic is hidden.
We were very impressed by Surfshark’s connection speeds. When we ran tests, we were able to load websites instantly and 4K videos in under 5 seconds. What’s more, videos never buffered when we skipped through them.
This VPN has 3,200+ servers in 65 countries. You never have to worry about not finding a nearby server or dealing with overcrowded servers.
Surfshark also has easy-to-use apps for the most popular platforms. And it can unblock both big and small streaming sites.
This VPN has very cheap prices, flexible plans, and a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN works really well in China – it consistently bypasses VPN blocks and unblocks apps like WhatsApp. All its servers support obfuscation via the Automatic protocol option. And ExpressVPN refreshes its server IPs very fast, so IP blocks aren’t an issue.
This VPN has industry-standard security features – bank-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch. What’s more, its no-logs policy has been independently audited. ExpressVPN further secures your data with perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers.
This VPN provider has 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries. It’s extremely simple to find a nearby server in China as it has servers in 20+ locations in Asia. All servers also allow torrenting and unblock popular streaming sites.
ExpressVPN is very fast – in our tests, we barely experienced any slowdowns. HD and 4K videos always loaded fast, we downloaded 20 GB torrents in less than 10 minutes, and we gamed with no lag.
You also get user-friendly apps on iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. The apps have an intuitive interface, so it’s really easy to find all the features and settings you need.
ExpressVPN has flexible plans and it backs them all with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN is excellent when it comes to bypassing censorship in restrictive countries. We ran multiple tests, and this provider always allowed us to use WhatsApp in China. And we really like that it’s really secure – there’s a kill switch, strong encryption, and an audited no-logs policy.
VyprVPN also has a cool, unique feature – the Chameleon protocol. This provider designed it specifically for countries like China. It obfuscates your traffic, hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN. Chameleon also regularly refreshes your IP without disconnecting you from the VPN server. So the government can’t use IP blocks against VyprVPN.
This VPN is extremely fast – it maintained fast speeds in all our tests. We were able to load HD videos in less than 5 seconds and our WhatsApp calls never dropped.
With this service, you get easy-to-use apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. They’re very easy to navigate, have a quick-connect feature, and the options are easy to understand.
VyprVPN has some of the cheapest plans on the market and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How to Unblock WhatsApp in China with a VPN
It’s extremely easy to use WhatsApp in China with a VPN – just follow these steps:
- Sign up for a good WhatsApp VPN that works in China. We recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN provider’s app.
- Open the app and connect to a VPN server that’s not in China. Choose a nearby location for fast speeds.
- Unblock WhatsApp and start using it as much as you want!
Here are some common questions we get about using WhatsApp in China from our readers;
Is There a Chinese WhatsApp?
Yes, WeChat is considered the “Chinese WhatsApp.” It offers the same functionality, but most people agree that WhatsApp is just easier to use. If you don’t like how WeChat looks, you’ll need to use a VPN to unblock WhatsApp in China.
Can You Unblock WhatsApp in China with a Free VPN?
Probably not. Free VPNs can hide your IP, but they’re not good at bypassing censorship. They don’t refresh their IPs very often, so the government can easily block them. Also, free VPNs are slow, don’t have good security features, and limit how much data you can use.
Is It Illegal to Use a VPN in China?
Not really. Our research shows that it’s only illegal to use a VPN in China in very specific regions. For example, you can get a fine for using a VPN in Chongqing. Also, you might get in trouble if you run your own VPN service.
But other than that, there have been no reports of people being arrested or fined the moment they used a VPN.
Can You Unblock WhatsApp in China with Tor?
Most likely not. While Tor hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic, our research shows that it doesn’t work in China. It seems that the government managed to block all Tor servers. Not surprising seeing how the server IP addresses are publicly available online.
But even if you could use Tor, it wouldn’t be worth it. Unlike a VPN, it’s extremely slow. In our tests, we experienced a 90% slowdown on average with Tor. With VPNs, our speeds only slowed down by about 30-40%.
Will a Proxy Unblock WhatsApp in China?
Maybe – it’s hard to tell. Like VPNs, proxies also hide your IP address. If the proxy you’re using refreshes its server IPs very often, it could bypass the government’s IP blocks. So you could use WhatsApp with it.
But here’s the problem – proxies don’t use powerful encryption like VPNs. That means they’re slightly faster, sure. But it also means your traffic is readable. Your ISP can see that you’re communicating with WhatsApp’s IP addresses. They might throttle your connection speeds to make it impossible to use the app.
All in all, you’re much better off using a VPN instead of a proxy.
What Else Does a VPN Do?
Besides unblocking WhatsApp in China for you, a VPN can also:
- Unblock tons of other sites and apps that are blocked in China.
- Encrypt your traffic to protect you from hackers on unsecured WiFi.
- Stop your ISP from throttling your bandwidth.
- Get rid of annoying ads and block connections to malicious sites. That’s if the VPN has an ad blocker.
- Help you save money on airplane tickets, car rentals, and video games.