ExpressVPN China: Does it Work in 2022 with the VPN Ban?

Last updated: November 18, 2023
William Sams
William Sams
Yes, ExpressVPN successfully works in China, which means you can access Google, Social Media Sites like Twitter and Facebook. Also, you can stream channels like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC IPlayer without any hassle. Read more to learn how to use ExpressVPN in China.

Want to use ExpressVPN China? Well, you know the country is like the extremely hot and dominating high-school girl who is just out of everyone’s league, constantly playing hard to get. It is famous for its repressive policies concerning freedom of speech and online censorship.

In fact, the situations are so bad that you cannot even access Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter when visiting the country. The Government of China has been holding out partnerships with these multinational names and EVEN Google for years now.

Over the years, authorities have blocked over 10,000+ websites that oppose the country’s traditional social values or criticize political parties.

Are you planning to visit China? Worried about how you can overcome censorship and geoblocking? Well, this is where ExpressVPN China comes in for bypassing the “Great Firewall”.

Most VPNs have no chance of breaking through China’s Great Firewall, yet ExpressVPN has no trouble doing so as it is the best VPN for China. You can use its cutting-edge features and technologies to access China as well as your preferred social media sites, streaming services, and web pages online.

The provider uses obfuscation, DNS and IP leak prevention, split tunnelling, a kill switch, and automated connections to get over China’s firewall. With the help of all of ExpressVPN’s first-rate security and privacy features, you can bypass restrictions from any location.

However, just make sure you download ExpressVPN before traveling to China because the website is blocked there. And if you’re unhappy with ExpressVPN’s performance within the first 30 days, you’re entitled to a full refund with no questions asked.

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ExpressVPN China pros and cons

  1. Fast and consistent speeds
  2. Works in China
  3. Responses quickly to China’s VPN blocking
  4. Large network to choose servers from
  5. Split tunnelling feature that allows bypassing VPN for some apps
  6. 30-day money-back guarantee offer to try the service risk-free
  7. Vigilant customer support

  1. Expensive pricing
  2. ExpressVPN in China servers not available

Does ExpressVPN Still Work in China?

Does Express VPN work in China? Yes, ExpressVPN does indeed still work in China. Despite not offering servers in the country, it still allows for the unblocking of local services and software via servers in nearby locations.

Some users might have experienced a little trouble 5 years ago, but not anymore. As you can see, the tweet above talks about the “Firewall Blocks” implemented by the Chinese Government.

After this, ExpressVPN implemented TrustedServer Technology, which makes it easier to bypass blockades with ultimate security, thanks to additional features like obfuscation.

Our technicians at took around 2 hours to analyze the provider’s capabilities for bypassing the GFW. As of October 2022, everything worked smoothly, and we did not receive any legal notices whatsoever. This can be verified by Twitter users below:

ExpressVPN China Twitter Comments

How to Use ExpressVPN in China: Quick Guide

Getting started with using ExpressVPN in China does not require any rocket science. Below we highlight step-by-step instructions on how to download ExpressVPN in China and configure it for this highly restrictive region for VPNs.

Step 1: Subscribe to ExpressVPN. Since the Great Firewall blocks ExpressVPN’s website, it is best to register and download the service before arriving in China.

Step 2: Connect to a VPN server. Choose a location server of your preference from the list.

Step 3: Start browsing. Once the connection is established, you can visit all your favorite websites.

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How to Configure ExpressVPN in China (+ Making Sure It Works)

It’s best to download ExpressVPN before visiting China because that country blocks access to its website.

If you’re already inside China, email ExpressVPN customer service at to request a mirror link, which will take you to a different version of the website that isn’t blocked by the Great Firewall.

You can register, download the app on whichever device you require, or update the software by using this link.

Following installation, a few simple tweaks will guarantee the trouble-free operation of ExpressVPN in China.

Select “Automatic” for Protocol

When your security protocol is set to “Automatic,” ExpressVPN will automatically select the one that is optimal for your network.

For various needs, ExpressVPN offers a variety of protocols. Some offer a quicker connection speed (like the Lightway protocol), while others offer a more secure connection (like OpenVPN).

Both of these protocols allow for obfuscation, which hides the VPN connection to prevent blocking. The obfuscation feature of ExpressVPN will also activate automatically.

Here are 5 simple steps to setting your protocol to “Automatic”:

Step 1: Click on the hamburger icon in the top left corner of the ExpressVPN app.

Click on the hamburger icon

Step 2: Go to the “Options”.

Go to the "Options"

Step 3: Select the “Protocol” tab.

Select the Protocol tab

Step 4: Select the “Automatic (recommended)” option.

Step 5: Click on “OK” and connect to a VPN server.

Enable the Network Lock Kill Switch Feature

You must always activate the kill switch when using a VPN in China. This safeguards your data in the event that the VPN connection is lost. The kill switch can be activated in 5 steps:

Step 1: Click on the hamburger icon in the top left corner of the ExpressVPN app.

Click on the hamburger icon

Step 2: Go to the “Options”.

Go to the "Options"

Step 3: Select the “General” tab.

Step 4: Under Network Lock, put a check on the option that says “Stop all internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly”.

Stop all internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly

Step 5: Click on “OK”.

Enable the DNS and Leak Protection Feature

Your true IP may be revealed to the firewall by IP and DNS leaks. Your online access will be restricted if the VPN disconnects or if the browser sends WebRTC requests.

DNS leak protection is turned on immediately when you connect to ExpressVPN. But you have to manually turn on IPv6 leak protection. This may be accomplished in 5 simple steps:

Step 1: Click on the hamburger icon in the top left corner of the ExpressVPN app.

Click on the hamburger icon

Step 2: Go to the “Options”.

Go to the "Options"

Step 3: Select the “Advanced” tab.

Step 4: Under IPv6 leak protection, put a check on the option that says, “Prevent IPv6 address detection while connected.”

ExpressVPN advanced tab

Step 5: Click on “OK”.

Why Use ExpressVPN in China?

ExpressVPN is an all-rounder in the marketplace of VPNs. With that said, it also tends to be a great choice for internet users in China for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the provider offers a huge listing of 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries that utilize RAM-infrastructure technology.

Secondly, it offers excellent app compatibility for use on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even custom firmware to install their application on network routers. Thirdly, the provider takes security and privacy very seriously, audited by Cure53 and PwC (acing both of them).

Best part of all: it utilizes AES-256-CBC encryption, offers protection against WebRTC/DNS/IPv6 leakages, and even makes available an automatic kill switch that immediately disconnects the internet in circumstances your VPN connection drops suddenly.

ExpressVPN is also among the few providers that offer Bitcoin as a payment option. And they may not have the lowest prices in the marketplace, but you can use their risk-free, 30-day refund guarantee for testing the service. At any point in time, you can cancel and get a full refund!

Last but not least, ExpressVPN successfully manages to unblock streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+.

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Why is ExpressVPN not working in China?

If you encounter the problem of Express VPN not working in China, you must first turn off your internet connection and attempt these fixes:

Reconnect your VPN

The VPN could stop functioning due to a bad internet connection or a technical issue. If your connection isn’t fast enough, it can take up to 30 seconds to connect to the server or it might not work at all.

Before attempting to reconnect, wait until ExpressVPN’s connection status reads “failed.” Close the app, restart your device, and then try to connect again if the first attempt fails.

Additionally, be sure to wait for the app to indicate that it is “connected” before you begin browsing.

Clear your browser caches

If too many requests are made, websites frequently block cookies and VPN IP addresses. Clearing your cache and cookie data can assist if you’re having difficulties loading websites.

All you have to do is clear your browser’s cache and cookies from the settings menu. Usually, privacy and security settings are where you’ll find this option.

Reinstall the VPN app

Try reinstalling the app if you are still unable to connect. Make sure you have the executable file, though, as downloading it after you’re in China can be challenging.

Perhaps the app also needs to be updated. Before you go to China, I suggest making sure you have the most recent version of the app. If you already have access to ExpressVPN’s website, you’ll need it to update the app.

Contact customer support

You can also get assistance by getting in touch with ExpressVPN’s customer service.

You can email despite the website being restricted in China (Yahoo and Hotmail are both accessible in China).

The support staff responds quickly, typically within 24 hours. You can also get in touch with ExpressVPN’s live chat support at any time if you already know the most recent mirror site link.

Does ExpressVPN have Chinese server?

ExpressVPN doesn’t have any servers in China. And that is why it is immune from China’s harsh data-logging regulations. Your browsing history will therefore remain entirely private.

The provider offers limitless server switching and has 160 locations with 94 different nations’ servers. It’s actually regarded as one of the top VPNs for countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan.

The best server options for VPN users in China with ExpressVPN are Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. (The ExpressVPN China server list can be viewed by clicking the three horizontal dots option in the ExpressVPN app).

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What websites and apps are banned in China?

As of recent, Mainland China has managed to block over 10,000 websites from around the world under the country’s infamous internet censorship policy. I have compiled a list of some of the important ones below, but if you want a complete overview, check this link out.


When in China, you cannot access certain apps for communication. These include KaKao Talk, the freeware app LINE, and even WhatsApp. The country even blocks Google Play and related services, which means you cannot access apps like Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Translate.

Work Tools

China blocks many popular tool websites like Android, Xing, Scribd, WayBackMachine, iStock Photos, ShutterStock, Dropbox, VPNs, and OneDrive. It also bans Feedburner, Twitter URL Shortener, Google URL Shortener,, OpenVPN, ThePirateBay, 4Shared,, PasteBin, and

Popular Websites

You completely lose access to various websites like VPN Coupons, Slack, Yahoo, Skype and anything linked to the outside world. Heck, this even includes SoundCloud. You will not be able to listen to your favorite music on the website.

Social Media

Of course, if the country has taken measures to block access to websites worldwide, it also made sure to include social media. You cannot access Hootsuite, Hangouts, Google+, Flickr, Blogger, BlogSpot, WordPress, Picasa, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Search Engines

Google and all versions of the search engine, which include,, and will be inaccessible. In addition to this, China has even blocked various versions of Yahoo, Baidu, and Duck Duck Go. You will have to rely on Bing primarily!


China also makes sure you have no way to learn about the happenings in other countries. The country blocks Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, Google News, L-Equipe, LeMonde, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal.

Video-Sharing Sites

Perhaps the most depressing of all is the inability to access Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, Twitch, Daily Motion, Vimeo, Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. You will only be able to access Chinese content.

ExpressVPN features for China

Server Locations

With limitless server switching, ExpressVPN boasts servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. It is, in fact, considered to be among the best VPNs for countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan. ExpressVPN’s Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Los Angeles servers are the best options for VPN users in China.

Speed Limit & Bandwidth Limit

Users of ExpressVPN can benefit from unlimited bandwidth and speed.

VPN Protocols

The VPN protocol types supported by ExpressVPN are OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), IKEv2/IPsec, and Lightway. Based on our tests from China, the optimal VPN protocol setting for ExpressVPN customers in China is “Automatic,” which will enable ExpressVPN to automatically select the protocol best suited for the user’s network.

Supported Platforms

The ExpressVPN dedicated apps, which support Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, allow users to connect from computers, tablets, and smartphones.


ExpressVPN has a limit of 5 simultaneous connections. This means you can only use 5 devices at once. However, if you set up ExpressVPN on your router, you’ll be able to cover all your devices that connect to your Wi-Fi.

Split Tunneling

You may select which software/apps need a VPN connection and which ones do not, thanks to ExpressVPN’s “Split Tunneling feature in USA.”

Since most Chinese users use ExpressVPN to unblock websites, this function is highly helpful for users in China as it eliminates the need to utilise a VPN when using local software/apps like Baidu, Aliwangwang, WeChat, and more.

This function enables ExpressVPN to avoid those apps so that their speed won’t be slowed down.


ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy. Your privacy is safeguarded when using ExpressVPN because your internet activities are not recorded.

Netflix Support

You can get around Netflix’s geo-restrictions by using ExpressVPN. Netflix U.S. content can be watched outside of the United States when using ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is among the best VPNs for Netflix.

P2P, Torrenting & File Sharing

P2P and torrenting are allowed on all servers of ExpressVPN.

Browser Extensions

ExpressVPN extensions are available for Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. ExpressVPN’s browser plugin simplifies the process for users to easily enable or disable the VPN without leaving their browser.

ExpressVPN China: FAQs

Is ExpressVPN illegal in China?

VPN technology like ExpressVPN is not illegal in China. However, the Chinese Government does ban VPNs that operate without a “license” or, in other words, do not provide them backdoor access to user data.

Is ExpressVPN a Chinese company?

There are some rumors that ExpressVPN is a Chinese service, but this is not true. The VPN has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, which is one of the safest locations for a VPN to be located at!

How do I update ExpressVPN to China?

If you are located in China and have the ExpressVPN app installed from the mirror link, then updating does not require any rocket science. You will receive a prompt saying “Update Available” whenever a new release is dispersed.

What is the punishment for using VPN in China?

If you are found using an unregistered VPN in China, then the Chinese Government will impose fines. According to the Inquirer, any individual caught using an unauthorized VPN service will be fined $145 or more!

Does ExpressVPN work in China?

Yes. ExpressVPN works in China only if you sign up and configure the VPN on your device before arriving in China.

Is ExpressVPN secure in China?

Yes. ExpressVPN is secure in China because it doesn’t have servers in China. Because of this, ExpressVPN is exempt from following its strict data logging standards. As a result, nobody other can access your surfing history or information.

How do I download ExpressVPN on my iPhone in China?

  • Visit the Apple App Store and search for “ExpressVPN”.
  • Tap on “GET”.
  • Once the ExpressVPN app is downloaded on your phone, sign up with your account and connect to a server.

If you cannot see the ExpressVPN app on your Apple App Store, try changing your App Store location.

Is ExpressVPN banned in China?

Yes. Technically, ExpressVPN is banned in China as the website doesn’t work so you cannot download the VPN client or sign up for the VPN provider.

However, you can still use ExpressVPN if you sign up and configure the VPN app on your device before arriving in China.

The second way is to email ExpressVPN at “” and ask for a mirror link to get started.

Wrapping Things Up

Concluding this ExpressVPN China guide, we hope it helped users located in the regressive regime understand how to use ExpressVPN in China. After all, who likes facing restrictions on every website they visit?

ExpressVPN is a well-known VPN service with a large customer base. Users can easily use the VPN in China if signed up before arriving in the country or utilize a mirror link if already in the country.

The provider generously offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and their customer service is incredibly responsive and helpful.

It’s a very different world for individuals, who don’t have access to Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, and WhatsApp, but ExpressVPN will help you bypass these restrictions.

Share this guide and help others return to the normal world. Also, don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any questions/concerns regarding using ExpressVPN in China!

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