How to use WhatsApp in China with a VPN

Last updated: November 27, 2019
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

WhatsApp remains banned in China like all other foreign services. Read this guide to understand how you can use it in the country, minus the hassles!

If you are familiar with the internet laws of different countries, you probably have an idea that China tends to be incredibly strict regarding its cyber environment, just like Russia.

The Chinese Government has a history of blocking access to websites and social networks that are Western-owned, which includes the VoIP and messaging platform, WhatsApp.

If you want to unblock “foreign” services, including WhatsApp in China, then click on the link below (for an instant solution) or read the complete guide:

How to Use/Unblock WhatsApp in China

5 Minutes Review time

5-Minutes Guide that helps you to unblock Whatsapp in China easily.

  • Connect to a server located in the US or any other country.
  • Access the Gmail app or visit https://www.gmail.com/.
  • In-Depth Analysis of the 3 Best WhatsApp VPNs

    1. Unblock WhatsApp in China with Ivacy: The best VPN for China, starting at a minimal of $2.25/mo Dedicated IvacyPrime app for unblocking apps/websites in China.

    2. Unblock WhatsApp in China with Surfshark: A highly recommended low-cost VPN, located in the safe British Virgin Islands, starting at $1.99/mo  (2 Year Deal)

    3. Unblock WhatsApp in China with ExpressVPN: Highly secure and fast VPN, also based in the highly secure BVI, starting at $6.67/mo  (1 Year Deal)

    1. Ivacy

    The best VPN for WhatsApp in China

    Ivacy Ranks 1st for WhatsApp in China

    Based in Singapore, Ivacy offers a dedicated app for Chinese residents. It also caters to expats by offering 6 Chinese servers. As such, it is the best option for accessing WhatsApp in China.

    The IvacyPrime app actually gives you the ability of “unblocking” websites/apps. If you open the menu, you will see a number of options available, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

    Simply click on the “WhatsApp” option to connect to a secure server and unblock the app directly from your mobile, or accessing the .web version for desktops/laptops.

    2. Surfshark

    Low-Cost VPN for WhatsApp in China

    Surfshark Ranks 2nd for WhatsApp in China

    Based in British Virgin Islands, Surfshark may be a newcomer, but goes against top names like ExpressVPN and PureVPN. It offers obfuscation for bypassing the “Great Firewall” in China.

    This helps Chinese residents in accessing all blocked platforms in the country, which includes Google services, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course WhatsApp.

    The servers offered by Surfshark now exceed the 1000+ mark, with many in close proximity to China in countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and India.  This will ensure fast speeds for Chinese users always.

    3. ExpressVPN

    Secure and Fast VPN for WhatsApp

    ExpressVPN Ranks 3rd for WhatsApp in China

    ExpressVPN also has its headquarters in BVI. It is one of the fastest VPNs for accessing blocked services in China, all while receiving maximum protection and anonymity in the country.

    Once you sign up with ExpressVPN, you gain access to 3000+ ultra-fast servers. The only issue with this VPN is that its cost is quite high at $8.32/month, much higher than Surshark and Ivacy.

    However, if you can afford this cost, the value you are getting is definitely worthwhile. By using it, you can bypass Chinese geo-restrictions and not just access WhatsApp, but also services like Netflix.

    Why is WhatsApp Blocked in China?

    WhatsApp has been blocked plenty of times before in the country. However, the Chinese Government would usually lift the ban after a few days. For this time, it is rather unclear how long the worldwide famous chat application may remain inaccessible.

    The last we heard about WhatsApp in China was when Beijing moved to prepare for the Communist Party’s congress, back on Sep 25, 2017.  Fast-forwarding to almost a year, the cross-platform messaging and VoIP app is still not functioning smoothly with users receiving messages late and not in real-time!

    There is also news of China’s censors developing a personalized algorithm for interfering with WhatsApp messages since it relies on encryption technology – which lacks in platforms like Apple’s FaceTime and Skype.

    We already know that the internet laws in China are quite strict and promote the analyzing of private user internet data, so it is only wise for the country to block any form of encrypted messaging that has the ability to promote political dissidents and social activists from standing against the government.

    This is a clear show of power and may dissuade users from using messaging services altogether, let alone unblocking WhatsApp. If you a rebel though, well then, we have solutions for you!

    Whatsapp in China

    WhatsApp Alternatives in China

    There is no doubt that WhatsApp exists as the single largest cross-platform messaging and VoIP app, where people around the world love to frequently exchange messages in Audio, Video, GIF, Text, and even Documents to their friends and family members.

    However, situations are changing now, and WhatsApp is now facing blocking in various countries. China particularly chooses to ban the app entirely, promoting the introduction of new online messaging services. Among some of the best in the marketplace, include:

    WeChat

    WeChat Logo

    The most popular messaging and VoIP app and a reliable alternative to WhatsApp in China, WeChat has managed to amass over 1 billion users worldwide. It boasts a simple yet attractive looking design with exquisite features, even promoting social networking by allowing individuals to connect with strangers. The app even has a Look Around and Shake feature to alert prospective friends.

    Telegram

    Telegram Logo

    A strong competitor for WeChat and WhatsApp in China, the Telegram App uses cloud-based technology for instant messaging and VoIP, promoting a new era of communication, currently boasting over 100 million users. It offers exceptional user-base features, giving you the ability to synchronize your chats across all devices, destruct messages with a timer, and build your own tools on their API, in addition to standard messaging tools.

    Skype

    Skype Logo

    Despite receiving quite the backlash after merging with Hotmail accounts and its contacts, Skype ranks as a top alternative to WhatsApp, promoting easy text messaging and calling with your contacts. The messaging app also helps you connect with long lost friends by accessing your previous list. This in addition to better stability and reliability, unlike WhatsApp in China, makes using Skype a good option. You can even send files as large as 50MB in size.

    LINE

    LINE Logo

    Another solid alternative to WhatsApp in China, the LINE app ranks among the most popular instant messaging services, allowing users to make group calls involving over 200 people at the same time. This feature alone sets it apart from the competition while making it the preferred choice for businessmen who travel the world and need to keep in touch with their employees collectively. It even allows users to reply to messages by installing it on Windows or MAC.

    Kik Messenger

    Kik Messenger Logo

    Establishing a strong reputation in the marketplace for being the first smartphone messenger app with a built-in browser, Kik relies on old-school username for the identity of a user, which gives it a unique yet exciting perspective to connecting with friends. It offers an amazing texting experience with users loving the functioning and interface of the app. You can register with Kik using your mobile or Email Address, making it a good option for sending messages.

    How to Use WhatsApp Web in China

    1. Get a Personal IP from TorGuard, AstrillVPN, NordVPN, VPN Area, BolehVPN, or PureVPN.
    2. Install the dedicated app for the provider you selected on your Smartphone and PC.
    3. Launch the app on both devices and connect to the dedicated IP server you bought.
    4. Now, head to https://web.whatsapp.com/ from a browser on your laptop/computer.
    5. Launch WhatsApp on your mobile phone and tap on the vertical ellipsis (three dots).
    6. Tap on “WhatsApp Web” and scan the QR code on the web.whatsapp website.
    7. You will now login and use the Web version of WhatsApp smoothly!

    How to Use WhatsApp Web in China

    Why WeChat is More Popular in China

    Apart from the obvious reason of WhatsApp being blocked in China, WeChat tends to be an all-rounder app for residents of China. You can often find many people telling you that the app is all you need to survive in the country.

    Both WhatsApp and WeChat started as instant messaging apps. However, where WhatsApp stopped exploring other areas of growth, WeChat has expanded like wild fire.

    You have all the perks of instant messaging available. This includes text messaging, location sharing, sharing of photographs and videos, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, video conferencing, and video games.

    Then you have a “Moments” feature available that provides updates on the social feed of friends, allowing users to post images, comments, likes, etc.

    WeChat also has a “Pay” feature, which grants users the ability to send money between contacts and perform mobile payments instantly and from anywhere.

    If that were not enough, there is a “City Services” feature in 27 cities. This allows people to book doctor appointments, order a cab, or pay electric fees or traffic fines all from their mobile phone.

    Why WeChat is More Popular in China

    People Also Ask

    When it comes to unblocking WhatsApp in China, users may have many questions running through their minds that need answers. So, below we have created a listing of all the common queries we get asked:

    Can You Use WhatsApp in China?

    While the app itself is blocked in China, you can still access it. The only problem is that WhatsApp works incredibly slow, and refuses to accept messages in real-time – making it a highly inefficient messaging and VoIP service in China.

    The solution is to use a VPN to bypass the Great Firewall, as you connect to a different server from another country, shifting your location and fooling geo-restricting algorithms!

    What Messaging App Works in China?

    As mentioned earlier, there are over 400 different messaging services in China, all of which serve as a replacement for WhatsApp. We have already mentioned a few names like WeChat, Skype, Kik, LINE, and Telegram.

    However, you do have other options too, which include Viber, KakaoTalk, LiveProfile, GroupMe, and ChatON.

    Wrapping Things Up

    With all factors taken into consideration, Ivacy wins the category for the best VPN for WhatsApp. If you are looking for an affordable alternative, consider signing up with Surfshark.

    If you have any questions, do not hesitate on dropping a comment below. Also, feel free to share the guide with others looking for a suitable VPN for accessing WhatsApp in China.

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