How to use YouTube in China with a VPN

Last Updated: November 14, 2019
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

If you are tired of China’s content restrictions and want to unblock YouTube, read this detailed guide from to watch your favorite content!

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).

If you want to unblock YouTube, read this complete guide or simply go for a premium service like Ivacy, which offers its own dedicated app in China, accessible through a mirror website.

How to Access YouTube in China

Anyone can access Youtube in 5-Minutes just by following the 3 simple steps.

IvacyPrime for YouTube in China

In-Depth Analysis on the 3 Best YouTube VPNs

Here are 3 VPNs for YouTube that deliver the best value, described in detail after comparing their costs, payment plans, and performance in China:

Rank VPN Price Website
1. Ivacy $1.99/mo. Visit Ivacy
2. ExpressVPN $8.32/mo. Visit ExpressVPN
3. Surfshark $1.99/mo. Visit Surfshark

1. Ivacy

Best VPN for YouTube in China

Ivacy Ranks 1st for YouTube in China

By offering a dedicated app for Chinese users called the IvacyPrime, the Singaporean-based provider gains an edge over others in the marketplace, easily bypassing the “Great Firewall” on multiple devices.

To use YouTube in China, download the app from their mirror website, click on the “social sites” tab, and select “YouTube” from the list of channels, and enjoy streaming your favorite content seamlessly.

Users in China can download IvacyPrime from their dedicated Chinese page here:

For more information, check out this full 2019 review of Ivacy

2. Surfshark

Cheapest VPN for YouTube in China

Surfshark Ranks 2nd for YouTube in China

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is a newcomer and budget-friendly provider, starting at a low $1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan. Yet, it manages to deliver amazing performance for users in China.

Surfshark offers a special  “NoBordersTM Mode” that discards the IP filtering technologies and algorithms of the “Great Firewall”, allowing you to unblock YouTube and other platforms, minus the hassle.

Users in China can download Surfshark from their dedicated Chinese page here:

For more information, check out this full 2019 review of Surfshark

3. ExpressVPN

Fastest VPN for YouTube in China

ExpressVPN Ranks 3rd for YouTube in China

ExpressVPN may not offer a dedicated app like Ivacy, but it uses obfuscation in conjunction with their RAM-infrastructure high-speed servers for providing Chinese users maximum unblocking capabilities.

Similar to the above, ExpressVPN also offers a mirror website to help users in China download their apps. The only difference is that ExpressVPN tends to be a little more costly than most providers.

Users in China can download ExpressVPN from their dedicated Chinese page here:

For more information, check out this full 2019 review of ExpressVPN

Why Is YouTube Not Available in China?

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.

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.

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. Some apps have become so popular they even list on US stock markets:


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, so that you can enjoy watching your favorite content online in China , without any restrictions whatsoever.

With all factors taken into consideration, Ivacy wins the category for unblocking YouTube in China. However, if you are looking for an affordable alternative, you can also consider signing up for the infamous, Surfshark.

If you encounter any issues, 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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