Countless internet users always ponder over the question of why companies are blocked in China.
One of the largest, being Facebook. With over 2.3 billion monthly active users, and none of these are coming from behind China’s Great Firewall.
While Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other social media platforms face bans, to a certain degree, it can be understood.
However, trying to figure out does Google work in China or not, and why not can take a bit more thought.
Many services, aside from Google search, can help all manner of businesses operate, and not all from the west. (Learn How to Delete Google Search History)
Here, we will look deeper into what is blocked and why it is blocked.
Why is Google Banned in China?
The primary reason there are these bans in place is all down to censorship. Google’s search engine helps small business connect with suppliers or customers to find the companies, which meet their needs.
Any user can quickly jump into the search engine and type anything they wish to find. Googling will deliver results on near enough anything.
Data logging is the main issue, along with user preference. To make results more accurate, Google collects snippets of information about its users.
The bottom line here is, Google in Chinese searches is a big no-no because the Chinese Government doesn’t want anyone to spy on the countries inhabitants apart from itself.
To stop any other person, tech giant, or country knowing what it’s users are searching for, there is the matter of internet censorship.
One of the key searches that throws up an error from the Great Firewall being searches for the likes of Tiananmen Square. If you are outside of China, you can find local results, but inside of China, you won’t see any local results or any results from the west.
Does Google Maps Work in China?
There are a couple of ways to look at this. While all the following services are blocked in mainland China, they can be accessed to a certain degree in HK Macau, or Taiwan.
Because of this, Google in China ceased in 2010, where the company re-located all the mainland traffic to the company servers in Hong Kong.
Since then, the search giant has seen its share of the search market drop. These three countries can use social networks, carry out their personal finance while traveling without finding their required services are blocked to run their business.
Here are the more common internet companies and Google services blocked by the Great Firewall of China.
Business Apps: Gmail, Dropbox, OneDrive. Google Maps, Calendar, Drive, Google Play, or any other Google cloud service you may use.
With no Play Store available, this means you will not be able to download any apps while in China. (Learn How to Change Google Play Store Country)
Social Platforms: Aside from Facebook in China facing a ban, you will also hit a wall trying to access Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, and many more.
Music and Video: YouTube, Twitch, Spotify, and many more are unavailable.
News: BBC, New York Times, Financial Times, and most other western news outlets.
Search: You can find most search engines face blocks aside from Google. Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Wikipedia, and others. They allow the Bing search product, yet the results are heavily censored.
Messaging and VoIP: Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and Koreas KaKao Talk. Hangouts and Viber are blocked, yet Skype works, but it is not very reliable.
If you are actively running blogs, then if you are using your servers, you can access your sites. However, trying to access BlogSpot, WordPress.com, and Medium does throw up errors. (Read our Google Alternative guide)
What Isn’t Blocked in China?
You can find a host of services that aren’t blocked in China. Luckily, there are no western banks that are blocked, so you can use or pay your credit cards.
Streaming platforms like Hulu, Disney, and Netflix can be accessed, yet as no content is licensed, you still face geo-restrictions to watch anything.
Luckily, the solution will work for anyone in China who wants to access his or her streaming accounts.
How to Unblock Google in China
While Chinese companies generally use the country’s search and social platforms, which are as large as western counterparts, are almost. Some of these are just as eager to unblock Google in China as everyone else is.
Google may not work, yet that doesn’t stop them from having a presence inside the country. Indirectly, the work they are doing is benefiting the Chinese Military forces.
It may not sound like it affects everyday users, but it could mean China has access to all the information Google already has on users rather than the other way around.
One way to be secure in China, and to make sure Google or no one else can see what you are doing, is through using a virtual private network.
Once you use these services, all your data and connections are encrypted. Even ISP’s are unable to see what you are looking at.
Unfortunately, many VPN provider websites don’t work in China, or the VPN doesn’t grant access. Because of this, only a handful of VPN services can work reliably enough to cater for individuals trying to look in, or trying to look out of China.
It is easy to find the best to work in China when you check out the best VPN for China because there are only a few that work, finding the best VPN service takes next to no time.
Once you have this in place, you can find no longer is Google blocked as it was. You can also use the premium China VPN to stop Google harvesting your data whether or not you are inside the firewall or outside of it.