Discord has become one of the most popular chat apps there is. However, any traveller, or anyone wanting to keep in touch with friends or family, may wonder does discord work in China?
Unfortunately, many apps can’t bypass the Great Wall of China. The Chinese government put this in paces to protect the Chinese people from western influences and stop anyone from seeing what the government is up to.
Like many other apps, you will find by default that Discord does not work in mainland China, and it joins the list of apps blocked by the Chinese government.
Luckily, not all is lost with this voice and text app for gamers, there are ways to get it to work, and in the same way, you can get all your other blocked apps to work rather than use Chinese apps that are heavily censored. (Read Can I Use WhatsApp in China)
By the end of our guide, you will find how to access Discord or other apps in China and how you can bypass censorship from any country that imposes restrictions.
Why is Discord Banned in China?
China has banned Discord because it refuses to follow Chinese law. In addition, China has been increasing its censorship efforts to block access to many apps from the West.
China requires all internet companies from China and other countries to seek permission to operate in the country. (Read Is It Safe To Use Whatsapp)
As part of this, they are required to keep user data and information. Besides this compulsory data retention, these companies would have all of their traffic monitored by the Chinese government.
Discord refuses to do both, as many other blocked sites have done previously. It is for this reason you find the answer to “is Discord blocked in China?” It is prohibited, and the government will block access to the service using the GFW (Great Firewall of China).
What Country is Discord Banned In?
It isn’t just China where you’ll find Discord is blocked. Many other apps are blocked in the UAE, Egypt, Oman, Iran, and North Korea. (Learn Does Gmail Work in China)
In all these countries, you need VPN servers strategically positioned to find Discord unblocked or other similar services accessible.
What Chat Apps Work in China?
WeChat is among the most popular free messaging apps in China and offers a lot of features compared to other social messaging apps
QQ, Weibo, Snow, and Baidu video are among the apps that work in China. However, you will spot that none of these popular websites and apps are from the west, and all come from China.
All Chinese internet companies are heavily monitored, so you could find many things that won’t reach family and friends if they are against government guidelines.
Besides this, you can’t use Chinese VPNs to get you past restrictions, and VPNs from other countries need to be installed before you arrive in mainland China. (Read Unblocked Torrents)
A couple of apps buck the trend, and these are Apple-based services such as FaceTime and banking institutions. No western banks are blocked, so you can log into your bank account and carry out online banking. However, it would be wise to use VPNs to do this if you are in China.
What Social Media is Banned in China?
The number of blocked websites and apps in China continues to grow. Here you can find the most well-known blocked websites in China sorted into categories for ease of reference.
Productivity Apps & Tools
If you plan on working in China, you’ll find most of your regular go-to tools and websites blocked in China.
- Gmail, and you can’t access Google apps such as Drive, Google Docs, Calendar, Google Maps, etc.
- Google Play
- Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Hootsuite
Along with Discord, there are rafts of other apps, services, and websites blocked. China has its own version, yet these may be limited, are monitored and censored, and may not be in English, which can be good if you wish to learn Chinese.
- Facebook and Instagram
- Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest
- Quora, Tumblr, and Reddit
If you wish to use some streaming platforms or sites for music or video, then you could be in for a shock.
- YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo
- Twitch, Periscope, Pandora, and Spotify
Services such as Disney, Netflix, and others are not blocked it is just the content itself faces geo-restrictions. Streaming will need a VPN for any of the above and Amazon Prime Video and the BBC iPlayer if these needed access. (Read About Opera VPN Not Working)
News and Media
Here are a few of the news institutions that are not accessible in China.
- New York Times, BBC, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and many more.
Most search engines are blocked for use in China.
- Google, in particular, as is DuckDuckGo and others.
- One exception is Microsoft Bing, yet the search results you get are heavily censored.
Unless you want to try to use China’s version of WhatsApp (WeChat), you’ll need to use the best of China VPNs to get past the restrictions. Unfortunately, a Free VPN won’t work as they don’t offer servers in the right locations, and most of the time, they come with slow connections.
- WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
- Telegram, Line, Signal, Koreas KaKao Talk, and Discord
How to Access Blocked Websites in China?
A VPN is required to get unblocked Discord and connect to other sites from the above that are blocked.
Using a VPN is the best way to use Discord in China. It is worth knowing not all VPNs work with the Great Firewall of China. If you are heading in that direction, you may think free VPNs can do the trick.
Sadly, these are not safe and don’t offer half the security features of a premium VPN. It is best to sign up before you head off and use the 30-day money-back guarantee for the duration of your trip.
Either way, here are the step-by-step guides to download a VPN that works to unblock Discord and other services while you are in China.
- Head to the website of the best VPN app for China (Do this before travelling since VPN websites are blocked in China unless they comply with regulations. Western VPNs keep user internet activity and identity safe, which goes against what the Chinese government wants.)
- Select your plan and sign up
- Receive a confirmation email.
- Follow the links to download the app for your devices. (Premium VPNs have an app for iOS device and Android, a Windows Client, or macOS.)
- Install the VPN app on your device
- Once in China, you can unblock Discord or another app blocked in China once you select a VPN server in a country where the service is allowed. To get extremely fast connections on your internet connection, the closest servers will be in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
You can connect to any other VPNs servers, yet these are the nearest and will offer the best Discord experience.
Picking a Discord VPN for China
You can find many hundreds of VPNs, yet not all VPN services will access Discord in China.
- Any VPN you choose must have a large VPN network with thousands of VPN servers in many countries.
- A VPN provider needs to connect using the fastest possible speeds. While a VPN service will slow connections a little, it can ruin any streaming experience if it slows too much.
- When you use a Discord VPN, it must be easy to use.
- The VPN provider must have live chat support in case you can’t access Discord in China.
- A VPN requires lots of security measures as it needs to mask your IP address, or the Great Firewall deep packet inspection will block access for any apps on your iOS or Android devices or your computer.
- The best VPNs offer zero log policies and keep no user information that could be seen by any third parties, including the Chinese government. As an aside, many VPNs can help reduce spam ending up on your device.
- The best VPNs offer fantastic value for money. You can even test all the features with the risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- To access sites blocked in China, a reliable VPN could use split tunneling for your internet traffic. You can send some via the virtual private network, and other data can go via your Chinese connection if you decide to use the Chinese apps.
It is worth noting; you have a handful of VPNs suitable to bypass the Great Firewall of China, so sign up and make full use of the 30-day money-back guarantee. (Find a Good VPN Australia)
You could even sign up for more than one in case you find you have a problem. Just make sure to cancel before the end of the month arrives.