Gmail is the worlds most popular email service with user number reaching over 1.4 billion. However, if you find yourself travelling into China, you may have issues connecting to the service.
While deep in mainland you may struggle to get an internet connection, it is the restrictions the Chinese Government place on western services.
You may find it almost impossible to check your email, however, there is a way to combat this.
Here, you can find out is Google banned in China, and how accessing Gmail in China doesn’t need to be as challenging as it first appears.
Can I Use Gmail in China?
If you travel to China and wonder if you can access Gmail in China, you may have a shock. Gmail is one of the Google services blocked in China.
However, with our workaround using a VPN, it is possible to access Gmail China.
Is Email Banned in China?
Because of the Great Firewall of China, some travellers who can’t access Gmail in China may think email is banned.
Email isn’t banned, yet many western mail services face blocks and can’t be accessed in mainland China because of the ongoing internet censorship the Chinese government imposes.
Just because you find Gmail blocked doesn’t mean email is banned. Just make sure you take precautions before visiting China.
What Email Works in China?
While the majority of western mail services are blocked in China, you will find that Hotmail and Yahoo both work without too many issues. Access may be slow, but they do work rather than being blocked in China.
In addition, it won’t be possible to send emails without the content being inspected as it undergoes deep packet inspection.
Is Google Banned in China?
All Google services will be blocked by the Great Firewall of China and their internet censorship. Google Maps, Google docs and any other services will face the same Gmail blocked issue.
However, the company itself isn’t banned.
Does Google Still Operate in China?
You can’t just use Gmail in China, yet Google still has many business operations inside the country. While they have hardware operations there, the main focus is on Cloud computing and trying to get Chinese companies to use their Cloud computing infrastructure.
How Can I Access Gmail in China Without VPN?
If you wish to use Gmail and find it blocked in China, you may wonder what you can do. If you are inside the country, you may find you can’t download a virtual private network to use Gmail.
However, there is one possible way you can try to find out, is Google blocked in China? (Read Is Whatsapp Safe)
Using a free proxy is the only other possible way to gain access to Gmail. Lantern is a free proxy app that you can install on Windows, Android, iOS, Linux and macOS.
Here are some quick instructions to use the proxy for your Google mail in China.
Download Lantern for your device (Make sure you do this before you head to China, Google Play store won’t work.)
- Install Lantern
- Launch the free version of Lantern
- The main browser page shows the connected server and data you have left – 500Mb per month allocation
- Head to gmail.com and check your mail.
The proxy only works inside browsers, so don’t try and use the app. Besides, it doesn’t offer any encryption or security like when using a VPN. It is, however, useful to provide access to some blocked websites.
Can Foreigners Use Google in China?
If you think that the blocks in China are only for the Chiese citizens, you are wrong. Anyone visiting won’t be able to access their Gmail account no matter what their home country.
You will also find sites such as Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and countless others are blocked. You can use all these and access your Gmail email account if you use a VPN service that is proven to work in China.
Not every VPN offers this function, though if you check the top four or five providers, these work in China.
The way these VPNs work where everyone else is blocked is by having servers located right on the border of mainland China such as Hong Kong and Macau. Backing these up are servers in Taiwan which can also be used for access.
In addition, a VPN will have functions to help obfuscate a VPN server, so the Great Firewall doesn’t see where the server is located.
Besides this, a VPN will use military-grade encryption, and what this does is stop nay data from being read during deep packet inspection. No matter what you send or receive to your Google email address, the Chinese government won’t be able to read it.
Using a VPN is the only reliable way you can access any Google service you find blocked.
One thing you need to be careful of is you sign up for your VPN before you leave your home country. While a VPN isn’t illegal in China, you find the western companies are blocked as they are not vetted by the Chinese government.
It is this reason they position themselves right on the border of China that delivers access, yet the VPN doesn’t full under the Chinese control.
Once you have your VPN downloaded and installed on all your devices, you will have with you.
You will have a very different answer to the question, does Google work in China than many other individuals. All you need to do is open your VPN client, select a server where Gmail works (Australia, UK or USA), and then your VPN takes care of the rest.
Your Google may be working thanks to your VPN, and you can find many other situations where a VPN is the tool of choice for protection and access blocked or restricted content.