YouTube in China – Unblocking Guide with 10 YouTube Alternatives

Last updated: August 22, 2019
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid is an online privacy/security advocate at, who loves sharing his expert knowledge regarding the latest trends in user privacy, cyber laws, and digital affairs. Apart from writing blogs/articles relating to anonymity, he also writes detailed VPN reviews.


The digital world brings with it plenty of entertainment, thanks to fascinating platforms like YouTube, where 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute.

Worldwide almost 1 billion hours of videos are watched in a day by people in 88 countries and 76 different languages (covering 95% of the internet population).

Sadly, users in China cannot access the platform, due to it being owned by Google (blocked by Chinese Authorities for failure to comply with their regulations back in 2009).

Do you want to unblock the video-sharing website? Read this comprehensive guide from, where we discuss about the most reliable China VPNs to unblock YouTube.

Why Is YouTube Not Available in China?

As surprising as it may sound, China did not offer a reason for banning YouTube. However, from what we know, the country is famous for its highly repressive regime. The Chinese Government has brought down some of the most famous services/websites in the country, for protecting their national interests, which involve the monitoring/controlling of information being available to the public.

From what we can gather, all of this started from the Hong Kong protests. There has been a quarrel between Hong Kong and China for quite some time (for obvious political reasons, which we will avoid getting into). Following the protest, many free speed advocates and activists realized their Gmail IDs were hacked. It was obvious who was to blame, and that left Google furious.

YouTube in China


They refused to bend down to Chinese Laws, which restrict freedom of speech, and this resulted in the removal of all its services, including Gmail, Maps, Google Play Store, Analytics, Google+, etc. Since Google owns YouTube, the obvious association is believed to be the reason for the banning of the video-sharing website. There are some accusations against YouTube too by Chinese officials, who claim the platform randomly hinders broadcasting of China’s achievement.

Citizens also believe that the platform blocks videos, which showcases positive reporting for anything Chinese in general. Most of the time, content from the country on YouTube would be in the form of protests taking place. The paramilitary presence in Lhasa, Chinese police officials beating protestors, the suffering, and death of a captive, there were all shown to people around the world.

State news agencies within the country claim all these videos deceive the international communities. No comments were given regarding the blocking of foreign apps and neither did the Chinese Government officials directly address why it has banned YouTube. Qin Gang, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman did give a statement though, where he claims “China is not afraid of the internet.” (laughs internally)

Best VPNs to Unblock YouTube in China

When it comes to unblocking YouTube in China, users really have only one option available: invest in a reliable VPN into China service. These privacy tools give you the ability to bypass geo-restrictions around the world while fighting content limitations in your own country. By masking your IP address, VPNs cloak your identity, making it appear as if you reside in a different location. Below are a few of the Best VPNs in China, you can rely on for unblocking YouTube:

Providers Price ($) Features Rating Discount Visit Provider
  1.  $12.95  
    Per Month
    • 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
    • AES 256-Bit Encryption
    • 24/ 7 Live Chat
    • No Logging Policy
    • 3 Simultaneous Connections
    • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
    35% Off
  2.  $11.95  
    Per Month
    • 800+ Servers in 50+ Countries
    • AES-256-GCM Encryption
    • 24/7 Live Chat
    • No Logging Policy
    • Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
    • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
    83% Discount


Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN gains a competitive edge over other providers, as the country is far away from the jurisdictions of EU and the US, along with alliances like the 5-Eyes and 14-Eyes. Not only does this boost your anonymity online, but it ensures you remain completely safe when indulging in streaming/unblocking/torrenting pirated content.

Why Is YouTube Not Available in China

Users receive maximum protection via military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption with HMAC SHA-256 data authentication to keep your identity hidden. Pricing starts at $12.95, but you do have a special deal, which gives you access to the VPN for 15-months at $99.95. Features offered by ExpressVPN include DNS Leak Protection, Stealth Servers, VPN App for Routers, SOCKS5 Proxy, Split Tunneling and more.


  1. “Stealth VPN” Servers for Regressive Countries
  2. Split Tunneling and Automatic Kill Switch
  3. 2,000+ Servers in 148 Countries Worldwide
  4. SmartDNS and Network Lock Features
  5. 3 Simultaneous Connections

  1. High Monthly Pricing
  2. No Free Trial



Similar to ExpressVPN, the VPN of the seas known as “Surfshark” also has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, which means you receive maximum privacy online. The provider offers incredibly strong security to customers by offering two strong encryption ciphers: AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM, which make exchanging information quite faster.

Best VPNs to Unblock YouTube in China

For connectivity, the provider offers amazing speeds on its expanding server list, stretching to 500+ in 45 countries in just 2 months. Though the monthly plan starts off with incredibly high pricing at $11.95, you can go for the yearly deal, which totals to $71.88 every 12-months. Features offered by the provider include CleanWeb (ad/tracker blocker) and MultiHop (VPN connection via two servers).


  1. Supports P2P/Torrenting
  2. 500+ servers in 50 countries
  3. Supports AES-256-GCM Encryption
  4. OpenVPN and IKEv2 Security Protocols
  5. 24/7 Customer Service and No Logging

  1. Pricey Monthly Plan
  2. No Router App


YouTube in China Alternatives

Following the ban of foreign apps/services, the Government of China encouraged the creation for equivalents, to keep their citizens entertained. YouTube’s Chinese alternatives were born from hosting overseas content. Soon enough, they grew into full-fledged companies and spread their wings into different industries. Some Chinese apps have become so popular they even list on US stock markets.

YouTube in China Alternatives


From hosting ripped content in other countries, the platforms have come a long way, introducing licensed content only. Many even produce their own local shows, so there are tons of videos uploaded on a daily basis, featuring antics from Chinese DIY videos, documentaries, news bulletins, movies/TV shows, and everything else you can imagine. Below is a list of the best Chinese Versions of YouTube:


Using Web Proxy to Watch YouTube in China

When talking about unblocking YouTube and other foreign services in China, many users come questioning whether it is a good choice to use a web proxy. If we are completely honest, it is incredibly risky to use one, especially for accessing an overseas application/website. Proxies do not offer encryption that keeps your identity hidden from local ISPs or and government agencies. As such, they may cause more harm than good. It is better to use a VPN service instead!


Uploading Videos to YouTube in China

  1. Select a suitable provider from the Best VPNs list above
    we tested surfshark in China and it worked the best for unblocking Youtube
  2. Sign up for a plan that best suits your needs and budget
  3. Download/install the relevant VPN app for your device
  4. Open the app, enter your credentials, and connect to a server
  5. Enter into the URL address
  6. The website will now unblock and open successfully
  7. Sign up for a YouTube account by entering relevant info
  8. Log in to your account, hit the “Upload” button, choose a video file
  9. Click the “Open” button and wait for the uploading process to complete
  10. Enter description/tags/annotations and choose privacy settings
  11. Select an appropriate thumbnail and hit the “Save Changes” button!


YouTube in China FAQs

When it comes to unblocking YouTube in China, users may have plenty of queries regarding how things work. lists down some of the common questions we get asked:


What is the Chinese YouTube?

The Chinese Version of YouTube goes by the name “Youku Tudou”. It is famous for its huge database of content, boasting around 580 million users and 150 million ACTIVE users. The platform has over 4,000 movies in its local library, while enjoying a daily average of 118 billion views. Just 3 years ago, Tudou spent over 1.1 billion RMB on licensed content. No wonder why it’s famous in China.


Is it illegal to Watch YouTube in China?

The legality of accessing YouTube in China is actually quite ambiguous, as the government has not revealed any details about the banning of foreign apps/services, and neither does it give two hoots. However, they are quite strict about accessing VPN services, only allowing for the usage of government-approved providers. So while it may not be illegal to unblock or watch YouTube, you should still be careful!


Wrapping Things Up

We hope this guide helps our viewers/readers understand how to unblock YouTube in China, so that you can enjoy watching your favorite content online, without any restrictions whatsoever. If you encounter any issues though, do not hesitate on commenting below. Also, feel free to share the guide with your friends/family members, who are tired of China’s fail tries at producing a successful YouTube alternative!

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