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How To Watch Netflix In China

Netflix is banned in China like so many other websites. Hence, to access it in the country, you’ll need a virtual private network or VPN. With that said, not every VPN can successfully work around the Great Firewall of China with the level of consistency that you would need.

We recommend that you use either NordVPNSurfshark, or ExpressVPN. Every one of these makes short work of any Chinese draconian internet restrictions. On top of that, they’ve all got large blazingly fast networks that easily facilitate Netflix streaming sessions free of quality, lag, and buffering issues.

Before anything else, I’d like to have a quick overview of how to watch Netflix in China:

1. Get A VPN

Kick things off by getting yourself a VPN that can bypass the Great Firewall of China. To know if a provider is capable, check out our reviews and guides here at VPN Thrive.

2. Install It

After settling on a VPN, install its application on your device. This process should be super quick and easy on anything that’s running a reasonably up-to-date operating system.

3. Connect To A Foreign Server

Open your VPN’s app, then connect to a server outside of China. For the most Netflix viewing options, we suggest that you select a server located in the United Kingdom or the United States.

4. Open Netflix And Start Watching

Head over to Netflix’s webpage or app on your browser or device as you normally would.

If Netflix loads, that means you have successfully bypassed China’s censorship measures. As such, you’re now absolutely free to start watching without any limitations.

How To Stream Netflix In China

Netflix can be streamed in China in more ways than one. In addition to VPNs, you can also make use of proxies to get the job done. However, you should know that it’s not advisable to utilize proxies in China to access Netflix and any other website.

The reason why is because proxies are unreliable. When using them, you’re much more prone to being detected by the authorities. How come? Because they only work on the browser level.

VPNs (except VPN extensions) provide complete digital protection for your device. The highest-ranking VPN service providers can circumvent almost any censorship measure or geo-restriction that’s thrown at them. Furthermore, they make you completely anonymous and virtually undetectable.

It’s not hard to watch Netflix in China using a VPN. As a matter of fact, anyone can manage to do it. The only thing necessary is for these four simple steps to be followed:

Step 1: Get A VPN To Watch Netflix In China

China has the world’s best internet censorship system that only the most capable VPNs can bypass with success.

Because of that, it would be wise to make sure you get a worthwhile provider. Don’t just settle with the cheapest option. Instead, go for the one that provides the greatest value.

There are many reasons why NordVPNSurfshark, and ExpressVPN are our recommended providers. Let’s have an in-depth discussion about each VPN to know them all.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is a popular VPN in China because it reliably works around the country’s internet restrictions. The provider also has a very large network that’s composed of more than 5000 lightning-fast servers. When paired to it, you’ll certainly gain instant access to almost every foreign Netflix library that you want.

Like all of its competitors, NordVPN’s main focus is to protect its subscribers. It maintains a bug bounty program and has developed its own protocol based on WireGuard. Moreover, the provider has also incorporated every security feature you’d want into its apps.

Each of NordVPN’s many applications is wonderfully designed. Due to that, anyone may use them without needing help. Needless to say, if you ever need assistance with the provider, you may get in touch with customer service via email or chat.

Refer to the table below to get a breakdown of NordVPN’s prices:

Subscription Lengths $8.84/Month
1 Year ($4.92/Month)
2 Years ($3.71/Month)
Highest Price Per Month $11.95
Lowest Price Per Month $3.49
One Year Price $59.04
Special Offer 68% off for a 2-year plan
58% off for a 1-year plan

2. Surfshark

No conversation about VPNs would be complete without Surfshark. The provider’s network has no difficulty with overcoming China’s internet censorship measures. More importantly, it’s fully capable of getting around Netflix’s geoblocks, making it perfect for your entertainment needs.

Although it’s a newcomer to the VPN industry, Surfshark is regarded by online security experts to be one of the most secure VPNs. Its entire network is RAM-based, meaning it cannot store logs. Besides that, the provider supports all major VPN protocols and has native applications that are equipped with whatever security feature that you could need.

The apps of Surfshark look great. In addition, they’re user-friendly and highly configurable. As such, they’re great for any kind of VPN user.

For those wondering, Surfshark maintains excellent customer support. In fact, many have said that it’s got the best in the industry. You may contact the service via chat or email at any time wherever you are in the world, making getting assistance for the VPN in China a breeze.

Here’s a summary of Surfshark’s current rates:

Subscription Lengths 1 Month ($12.95/Month)
6 Months ($6.49/Month)
2 Years ($2.49/Month)
Highest Price Per Month $12.95
Lowest Price Per Month $2.49
One Year Price $77.88
Special Offer 81% discount for a 2-year subscription
50% discount for a 6-month subscription


3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has long been the go-to VPN for people living in or visiting China. It doesn’t have any trouble providing you with access to the global internet within the country. Aside from that, the provider also has many fast servers that unblock practically any version of Netflix.

Your safety is guaranteed when using ExpressVPN. Like Surfshark, it has a 100% RAM-based network that can’t record and keep logs. Furthermore, the provider maintains support for every leading VPN protocol, even managing to develop its own called Lightway.

ExpressVPN’s makers have crafted excellent applications for their VPN. From experience, I can say that you’ll have a splendid time with the provider, regardless of what platform you’re currently using.

Moreover, you shall also have zero problems when communicating with customer service as all of ExpressVPN’s representatives are very knowledgeable.

The table below summarizes ExpressVPN’s pricing schemes:

Subscription Lengths 1 Month ($12.95/Month)
6 Months ($9.99/Month)
1 Year ($8.32/Month)
Highest Price Per Month $12.95
Lowest Price Per Month $6.67
One Year Price $99.84
Special Offer 50% off for a 1-year subscription

Step 2: Install The VPN On Your Device

After getting a VPN, you must install its application. This process is now easier than ever thanks to the advent of consumer-grade service providers. As a matter of fact, it can even be performed completely automatically on most kinds of modern devices.

For Windows, Mac, Android, iPad, iPhone, Firestick, Chromecast with Google TV, etc.

Most VPN websites are blocked in China. Due to that, anyone using Windows, Linux, or macOS devices must download their providers from a legitimate mirror link. That mirror link can be searched for or passed on from a credible source.

After downloading your VPN, installation should be quick and easy. You’ll always have the option to pick the file destination of the provider’s app or let everything go automatically.

  • APK Installation

The app stores in China don’t play host to NordVPN’s applications. Consequently, people with Android devices must download the provider’s Android APK then install it manually. While this may seem hard, it’s actually very easy.

Do not obtain your provider’s Android APK from just anywhere. Nowadays, most VPNs have downloadable APKs on their websites. Therefore, there’s no need to look elsewhere and risk accidentally loading your device with malicious software.

For Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, etc.

VPNs commonly have extensions for ChromeFirefox, and other popular web browsers. Sadly, these extensions aren’t as safe because they don’t protect your entire device. Hence, we can’t recommend that you use them under any circumstance in China.

  • Firefox Add-Ons and Chrome Web Store

The extensions of our recommended VPNs may all be downloaded from the respective web stores of Chrome and Firefox. Unfortunately, doing this is not possible in China since these extensions are not locally available.

As such, those looking to unblock Netflix in the country using a VPN browser extension must download that extension before going there.

Router Installation

Many devices that access the internet don’t have VPN official VPN support. Fortunately, you may still use your provider together with such devices via a router.

Installing a VPN on a router can be a tedious process. Because of that, we recommend you buy a router that’s pre-configured online. Each one of our recommended providers has many models available.

That means even those with the lowest budgets are guaranteed to not be out of options. If anything, this is great for average consumers like yourself.

Step 3: Connect To A Foreign Server

Open up your provider’s application then pair with a foreign VPN server. Netflix’s libraries vary from country to country so it’s important to know where you’re connecting to. We suggest that you link with a server in FranceJapanAustraliaCanadaNew Zealand, the US, and the UK since these countries each have excellent local versions of Netflix.

Another thing you’d like to consider when picking a VPN server is geographical proximity. You see, the closer the server, the likelier it is to be faster. Thus, you should connect to a location that’s not so distant from China such as JapanTaiwan, and the Philippines.

Let us now discuss the server networks of our three recommended VPN providers:

NordVPN Servers

As mentioned earlier, NordVPN operates more than 5000 servers across the globe. Hence, it’s guaranteed that you’ll never run out of connectivity issues when using it. This is great news, especially for anyone located in China where the internet is beyond highly restricted.

NordVPN has been dubbed by many as the world’s fastest VPN. While whether this is true or not is subject to debate, there’s no doubt that NordVPN is extremely fast. When using it, you certainly won’t have a bad streaming experience full of buffering, quality, and lag problems.

Unfortunately, the network of NordVPN isn’t 100% RAM-based. For that reason, it can still be used to track, collect, and store your personal logs. In spite of that, we think you’re in good hands when using the provider as it has proven itself to be very secure time and time again.

Surfshark Servers

Surfshark has a tiny network compared to NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Despite that, it provides enough connectivity options for any subscriber. With it, you’ll definitely be able to freely access the global internet without being blocked by China’s very harsh internet censorship measures.

The servers of Surfshark are some of the fastest of any VPN. They barely make an impact on your connection speeds. Sometimes, they even make your internet faster by getting you off bandwidth throttling that’s secretly imposed by many Chinese internet service providers.

As mentioned earlier, the entire server network of Surfshark is RAM-based. If anything, that means you can fully trust it to keep your digital life secure. Even when the provider gets compromised, third parties still won’t get to access your info since none of it is actually kept.

ExpressVPN Servers

ExpressVPN’s network is made up of 3000+ servers. Therefore, when using the provider, you’re sure to find a server in any country you’d want to watch Netflix from. That’s right, you won’t just be limited to the streaming platform’s libraries in a handful of countries.

Since all of ExpressVPN’s servers are RAM-based, you can be sure that your digital privacy will remain intact when using the VPN. After all, it’s completely incapable of storing your logs. In the VPN industry, only a few other services such as Surfshark can say the same.

The impact of ExpressVPN’s servers on your internet speeds is minimal. In fact, during my time with the provider, seldom did I experience significant connection drops. More importantly, not once was I rendered unable to watch Netflix regardless of where in the world I watched.

Step 4: Open Netflix and Enjoy Watching

The last thing to do linking with a VPN server is to open Netflix and start watching. What you can watch entirely depends on what library you access. Thus, it’s very important to access a library that’s packed with lots of unique and interesting shows, movies, and documentaries.

By simply getting into Netflix, you’ll be able to determine if your VPN is working or not. After all, a service that fails to bypass the Great Firewall will only leave you blocked.

In some instances, VPN providers fail to get around China or Netflix’s blocks. When that happens, you get met with an error screen or are simply unable to access Netflix.

Fortunately, several workarounds that can enable you to go on watching Netflix in China without restrictions exist. Let’s discuss each one of them below:

1. Change User Profile

Netflix resets itself when user profiles are switched. Therefore, moving to another user profile can sometimes eliminate restrictions. While this method is easy to do, it can alter the user profiles of those with who you share your account with. As such, we don’t recommend it.

2. Sign Out Then Sign Back In

A better alternative to changing user profiles is to sign out then back in. Not only does this reset Netflix, but it also doesn’t mess up the user profiles of your account’s other users.

3. Transfer To Another Server

If you’re unable to access Netflix completely, try connecting to another VPN server. If possible, pair with a location in a different country. When that’s done, there’s a 90% chance that you will be able to access the streaming platform and watch it in China with zero limitations.


Is Netflix Available In China?

Nope. Netflix isn’t available in China without a proxy or VPN. The closest thing to a Chinese version of Netflix is the platform's library in Taiwan, which is full of Mandarin content.

Why Can't You Access Netflix In China?

You can’t access Netflix in China because the country’s government has banned it. How come? It is considered to be a tool that spreads misinformation about the Chinese Communist Party.

How Does A VPN Let You Access Netflix's Libraries?

A VPN lets you access Netflix in China by getting around the Great Firewall. It achieves this by changing your IP address, and therefore, fooling the system into thinking you’re elsewhere.

Is It Illegal To Watch Netflix In China

No. It’s actually not illegal to watch Netflix in China using a VPN. Quite surprisingly, it also isn’t illegal to use a VPN in China. However, you should still be discreet when doing so because it’s very much frowned upon by the local authorities.

How To Choose A VPN To Access Netflix In China?

Each VPN is different, which is why choosing which one to use is difficult. With that being said, here are a couple of things to consider when you’re on the hunt for a provider to utilize in China:

  • Unblocking capabilities
  • Network size
  • Speed
  • Pricing

All of our recommended VPNs have great unblocking capabilities, large networks, fast servers, and decent prices. Hence, there really isn’t a reason not to buy them. After doing this, it’s sure that you won’t have any regrets. Nevertheless, if ever you do, each of the three providers maintain 30-day money-back guarantee policies.

Summing It Up

I’d like to close this article with a quick recap of how to watch Netflix in China. As stated earlier, doing this isn’t hard. Below are all the necessary steps you must take to get the job done:

  1. Get a VPN (preferably NordVPNSurfshark, or ExpressVPN)
  2. Install your VPN
  3. Connect to a US server
  4. Start your Netflix and enjoy the streaming platform

Don’t forget to make use of the workarounds we gone over earlier. By doing so, you’ll almost certainly be able to continue watching Netflix without limits in China. This is especially true if you’re using either NordVPN, Surfshark, or ExpressVPN, which are all excellent VPNs.

{Please also see our other articles on how to get American Netflix in the UKCanadaAustraliaIreland, and Europe. You may also want to watch Canadian NetflixJapanese Netflix, or UK Netflix in the US.}

By: Erwin Caniba
Eric is the co-founder of VPNOnline. He has been an avid user of VPNs since 2012. He has tested all of the major VPN providers and shares his findings on this website. Follow Eric on Facebook.