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Netflix: China is blocking streaming, but these VPNs will break the Great Wall of China in 2021

Are you on vacation in Beijing or Shanghai and want to enjoy a little Netflix? Although you can open the Netflix site, you will get an error message. Why is that? How does Netflix work in China?

Unfortunately there is no Chinese Netflix. Netflix is ​​blocked in China. In addition, geoblocking prevents you from accessing Netflix Germany.

The use of VPNs is problematic because China only allows a few VPN providers. But don't worry: we'll show you how you can watch Netflix in China with the right VPN (any Netflix library you want ...).

Stream Netflix with ExpressVPN in China: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Register an account with ExpressVPN and select the appropriate tariff.
  2. Download software for your device.
  3. Install ExpressVPN on your device and sign in to your ExpressVPN account.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in Germany (or the countries whose Netflix protocol you want to access).
  5. Open your browser and stream Netflix without restrictions!

Internet censorship, geoblocking and the like: streaming prohibited ?!

The Chinese government wants to control exactly what its citizens do on the internet. Strict internet censorship ensures that practically all major western services such as Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter and the like are blocked. Netflix is ​​not available in China either.

Strict internet censorship and the Great Firewall of China

In principle, there has been strict internet censorship in China for decades. For a long time, however, Chinese citizens and tourists have used a VPN to access blocked websites.

Of course, the communist government wanted to prevent that. That is why, since 2017, all Internet traffic has to flow through the so-called "Great Firewall of China". It is intended to prevent Chinese residents from connecting to unapproved VPN services and thus bypass the state blockade made in China.

Is Netflix Really Banned in China? And are there alternatives for you?

Western streaming services are also a thorn in the side of the Chinese government for their content. In principle, streaming providers such as Netflix would be allowed. Strict conditions, however, stipulate that Chinese content can be broadcast almost without exception. That is why Netflix is ​​not active in China - and will probably not be in the foreseeable future.

However, streaming is extremely popular in China. There are several popular streaming services such as iQiyi, Youku, and Tencent Video. iQiyi has long been known as the “Chinese Netflix” - but you won't find your beloved western series and films here. Practically only Chinese titles and shows are available on the platform.

There are two reasons why you cannot actually watch Netflix in China: On the one hand, there is no Netflix China, and at the same time geoblocking should prevent you from being able to watch Netflix abroad.

What is geoblocking?

Geo-blocking is a measure that Netflix (and other streaming services) use to make content only available in certain countries. Netflix sources most series and films from content providers with whom the streaming service concludes license agreements. So that you can only see the titles in those countries for which Netflix has the rights, Netflix has developed such a country block.

Because you can bypass ordinary geo-blocking with a proxy or VPN, the Netflix VPN block was established. Netflix buys server lists and blocks the IP addresses of known VPN and proxy servers. Most VPNs and proxies are therefore recognized and blocked, only premium VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN can bypass geoblocking on Netflix.

Is it illegal to use a VPN in China?

No, using a VPN is legal in China. So you can use the provider with a clear conscience. However, the situation is a little more difficult for VPN services themselves.

In June 2017, a new law came into force in China aimed at keeping internet providers and VPN services on a tight leash. Since then, all VPN services have had to register with and be approved by the government. That is why there is a list of approved VPN providers in China, but you cannot access Netflix and other western online services this way.

As a result of this regulation, there are fewer and fewer active VPN services in China. This is still not a problem for you, because all you need is a VPN service that you can connect to from China. VPN providers that can do this include NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Netflix prices worldwide: Here it is cheapest on the world map

How much does a Netflix subscription actually cost in other countries? And maybe you can use it to buy your Netflix subscription cheaper and save money?

A price comparison shows that the costs for Netflix differ widely around the world. The Netflix subscription is particularly cheap in Turkey, Bolivia or Colombia. Even in expensive Norway, the prices for the standard and premium tariffs are cheaper than in Germany.

The following table shows you the Netflix costs in comparison.

Country \ tariff planbasicdefaultPremium
Turkey*EUR 2.313.86 EUR5.40 EUR
Colombia4.10 EUR6.52 EUR9.44 EUR
Japan6.58 EUR9.86 EUR14.80 EUR
Norway8.38 EUR10.26 EUR14.97 EUR
Germany7.99 EUR11.99 EUR15.99 EUR

* current exchange rate (as of July 2020)

For a long time you could get a Netflix subscription cheaper with a VPN or in other countries. Unfortunately, Netflix is ​​taking action against it, so that the detour via a gift card or similar methods no longer works abroad.

To take out a Netflix subscription in a cheaper country, you need a credit card and a home address in that country.

Of course, it is easiest if you have a good friend in this country through whom you can open the account together. Don't you have it Maybe then it would be time for a loose pen pal to save money together!

Right VPN for China: A Comparison

We've put dozens of VPNs through their paces over the past few months. The best China VPN is from NordVPN, ExpressVPN and VyprVPN.

With all three providers you can bypass the Great Firewall of China and stream Netflix undetected in China.

NordVPN in China

Best price performance ratio


NordVPN delivers a great overall package with a clear user interface at an unbeatable price. Streams all media libraries from abroad without any problems.

Easy to use

Additional security functions

Inexpensive three-year subscriptions

Fast support via live chat

No storage of usage data

Trial version only with specification of payment details

A lot in English

NordVPN has over 6,000 VPN servers in more than 60 countries, including Germany and the USA, of course. You are doubly protected with the multi-hop function: You can connect two servers in series. You can also use the VPN with peer-to-peer and torrenting services. The VPN client has an automatic kill switch and the company has implemented a strict no-logs policy.

As a cost-effective alternative to ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers the best price-performance ratio of all VPN services.

ExpressVPN in China

The best VPN provider


This VPN delivers strong performance for high demands. Very fast, high level of security and even outsmarted Netflix.

High level of security

Servers in 94 countries

Very fast

Easy to use & great support

Bypasses Netflix geoblocking

Chargeable after the test phase

You can stream Netflix in China with ExpressVPN. You have over 3,500 VPN servers in 94 countries at your disposal, so you can unblock any Netflix library. Peer-to-peer services and torrenting are allowed, a no-logs policy protects your privacy. An automatic kill switch cuts the connection if contact with the VPN server fails. The VPN service impresses with the best performance of all providers, which justifies the slightly higher price.

VyprVPN in China

Perfect for streaming


An IT security company has confirmed the high security standards of this inexpensive VPN. Unfortunately it is a bit slow at times.

Cheap subscription packages

Streaming & file sharing allowed

Certified no-logs policy

Has its own server

Sometimes slow speeds

No way to choose the fastest US server

The Swiss provider VyprVPN operates a worldwide server network with over 700 servers in 70 countries. A dynamic server change and over 200,000 IP addresses help to bypass Netflix geoblocking. The Chameleon technology developed by VyprVPN can break China's firewall. So nobody will notice that you are using a VPN. Use peer-to-peer services or torrenting or stream Netflix without restrictions. Your privacy is protected because VyprVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy.

FreeVPN in China

Unfortunately, free VPNs are not an option for watching Netflix in China. These providers use public VPN servers that are recognized by the Great Firewall of China - and that would be too risky. In addition, such services cannot bypass the Netflix VPN block. Free VPNs have other drawbacks, you can find out more about them in our free VPN review.

Conclusion: You can only unblock Netflix in China with a first-class VPN

Due to the strict internet censorship of the Chinese government, Netflix is ​​not active in China. However, Chinese alternatives like iQiyi don't give you western content. Netflix uses both geoblocking and a VPN block so that you cannot watch titles from the Netflix library when you are abroad.

Most VPN fail because of the "Great Firewall of China" or are recognized by Netflix. That's why you need a premium VPN like NordVPN or ExpressVPN to stream Netflix in China.

Choose ExpressVPN to watch unlimited Netflix in China!

Have you already had experience with VPN and streaming in China? Tell us in the comments!

Mauricio Preuss

Hi! I'm Mauricio and, as an entrepreneur, I'm mainly digital. Security is very important to me when traveling, which is why I only connect to foreign networks with VPN. A positive side effect: as a series junkie, I outsmart any geoblocking and stream all of my favorite series.