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How to watch Netflix in China

Watch Netflix in China with VPN

Netflix has a wide range of Chinese series, including many other options with Mandarin audio. However, all of this content is off-limits if you’re residing or traveling to China. Due to strict censorship laws and licensing and distribution agreements, the service doesn’t officially exist in the country. So, if you want to access Netflix in China, you’ll need a VPN.

Most VPNs can efficiently reroute your traffic through a server that will make you look like you’re connecting from a different location. However, only a handful of VPN providers have security measures that help bypass the Great Firewall of China. That’s why finding a reliable VPN can be tricky.

To help you out, we ran some tests to see which providers can efficiently unblock Netflix and which also works in the country. So continue reading, and we explain how to watch Netflix in China with a reliable provider.

Watch Netflix in China with the best VPN

Not all VPNs can unblock Netflix in China, but NordVPN excels at it. The provider has a proven track record of bypassing censorship and geo-restrictions on all major platforms. It has a sizable server fleet, advanced security features, and incredible speed.

9.8 /10
Superb performance
Obfuscated servers
24/7 live chat

Best VPN to watch Netflix in China: shortlist

  1. Best VPN to watch Netflix in China
    9.7
  2. Fast and lag-free Netflix VPN
    9.3
  3. Security-minded VPN to unblock Netflix in China
    9.1
  4. Easy-to-use Netflix VPN
    8.9

How to watch Netflix in China?

  1. Choose a reliable VPN provider. We recommend using NordVPN, now 72% OFF
  2. Download and install the VPN app for your device
  3. Connect to a server in the country where you want to unblock Netflix, such as US
  4. Log in to your Netflix account and enjoy!

Watch Netflix in China with NordVPN

Best VPNs to watch Netflix in China: overview

  1. NordVPN – the best VPN to watch Netflix in China
  2. Surfshark VPN – fast and reliable VPN for China
  3. Proton VPN – secure and fast VPn to watch Netflix in China
  4. Ivacy VPN – free China VPN with extremely cheap premium plans

Bypassing VPN blocks on Netflix is challenging enough, but trying to do so in China is even more complex. Unfortunately, not all VPNs are suitable for the task. We know that because we’ve tested over 30 providers, and most of them failed to accomplish the task. We list the best-performing VPNs below.

1. NordVPN – the most reliable provider to watch Netflix in China

9.7
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
111
Number of servers
Number of servers:
6400
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, Email
  • Unbeatable in terms of privacy and security
  • Split tunneling
  • SmartPlay feature bypasses the geo-blocks
  • Only 6 simultaneous connections

NordVPN is the best option to stream TV series in China. The provider has a sizable fleet of 6400+ servers in 111+ countries, with plenty of Netflix locations around Hong Kong.

NordVPN is a full security suite. It offers the most advanced AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption and reliable leak protection. To make sure it breaks through the Great Firewall, the provider implemented security features such as Double VPN, Tor over VPN, and obfuscated servers.

Other than security benefits, NordVPN offers efficient privacy protection. It is based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and has a strict no-logs policy. Furthermore, all its servers are RAM-only, meaning your data is deleted after each reboot.

The provider also excels at streaming. With a powerful SmartPlay feature, it can unblock your favorite shows on Netflix US, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or Disney+ without any extra effort on your part. Plus, due to its NordLynx tunneling protocol, NordVPN offers one of the best speeds on the market, preventing lag and buffering.

You can get a NordVPN subscription for 72% off. If you keep an eye on our coupons page, you might even get it cheaper. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to test the service.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN – fast and affordable VPN to watch Netflix in China

9.3
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
100
Number of servers
Number of servers:
3200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
  • Powerful security features
  • Great for Netflix
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Some features cost extra

Surfshark is quite a cheap VPN for watching Netflix in China. But don’t let the price fool you. It’s one of the best geo-blocking VPNs with a solid fleet of 3200+ servers in 100+ countries.

When it comes to security, this provider keeps the standards high. It employs AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption ciphers. It beats the Great Firewall with a stealth VPN called Camouflage Mode and other beneficial features like NoBorders, and split tunneling. You’ll also greatly benefit from its reliable kill switch.

Privacy is ensured through an audited no-logs policy. The provider also offers RAM-only servers that delete all your browsing data.

SurfShark is one of the best VPNs for streaming. It can unblock virtually any platform while maintaining a fast and reliable connection. This means you won’t experience lagging and buffering while streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other popular streaming services.

You can get Surfshark for 83% less or even look for better deals on our coupons page. If you want to test the service, Sufshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. Proton VPN – beginner-friendly VPN to stream Netflix in China

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
100
Number of servers
Number of servers:
6300
Support
Support:
Email, knowledge base
  • Swiss, audited, and open-source
  • Stealth protocol
  • Stable connectivity
  • Few P2P servers

Proton VPN is a great choice when you want to watch Netflix in China. With as many as 2,970 servers in 68 countries, you’ll be able to unblock Netflix with no issues.

Proton VPN keeps your data safe with advanced AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption protocols. It also features a reliable kill switch and leak protection. Other security measures include stealth protocol, Tor over VPN, and Secure Core.

Privacy is ensured through an independently audited no-logs policy. Proton VPN is also completely open source, allowing anyone to review its code.

Proton VPN is not only secure and private, but it’s also great for streaming. It can unblock Netflix libraries and Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Sky Sports. Due to a Wireguard protocol, the provider is also fast, so you don’t have to worry about buffering.

The provider offers a reliable free version. However, it’s quite limited, so we recommend getting a subscription. The plans come with a 55% discount. If you’re up for testing the provider’s capabilities, you can use a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Proton VPN, read our Proton VPN review.

4. Ivacy VPN – cheapest Netflix VPN to stream series in China

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
69
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5700
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Leak protection measures
  • Geo-block circumvetion
  • Anonymous payments
  • macOS & iOS have fewer features

If you’re looking for a way to watch Netflix in China, Ivacy VPN is the answer. This provider, with a large fleet of 5700+ servers in 69+ countries, will easily unblock the content you’re looking for while remaining undetected.

With AES 256-bit encryption and reliable IP & DNS leak prevention, Ivacy VPN safeguards your online data. Furthermore, the provider offers an efficient kill switch and DDoS attack protection.

When it comes to no-logs, Ivacy VPN offers a strict zero-logging policy. In addition to that, the provider doesn’t require you to register with its service, minimizing data collection.
Ivacy VPN is a provider to stream Netflix in 4K quality. Due to its fast speeds, you’ll get minimal buffering and lagging. With dedicated servers at hand, it will easily unlock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and other services.

While the provider has a free version, you’ll need something more powerful to watch Netflix in China. However, Ivacy VPN’s premium version costs 90% less, and you can find special deals. Ivacy VPN also allows you to change your mind within 30 days by providing a full refund.

For a deeper investigation of Ivacy VPN, read our Ivacy VPN review.

Netflix in China VPN: comparison

ProvidersNordVPNSurfshark VPNProton VPNIvacy VPN
Price$3.39/month$2.19/month$4.49/month$1.00/month
Works in China✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Obfuscation✅Obfuscated servers✅Camouflage mode✅Stealth protocol❌No
P2P-friendly✅ All servers + P2P-optimized servers✅ All servers✅ Select servers✅ All servers
Streaming✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes

How we chose the best VPN for Netflix in China

To make sure we picked the best providers, we ran extensive testing. Here are the criteria we looked at:

  • Server locations. We picked providers with large and well–performing server fleets. We also checked location coverage. Providers that offer server locations close to China will offer faster connection speeds, efficiently preventing buffering while streaming.
  • Security. When choosing a VPN for China, security can’t be ignored. Thus, we only picked providers with leading AES encryption and other features. This includes IP leak protection, traffic obfuscation, and a kill switch.
  • Privacy. When using a VPN in China, the provider must enforce a strict no-logging policy. This will ensure that your private browsing data will not end up in the hands of government officials. Thus, we only picked providers that stick to their claims.
  • Streaming. Not all providers can unblock Netflix. The platform has strict security measures against VPNs. Thus we tested the providers and included only those that can unblock the service with no issues.
  • Pricing. The best VPNs on the market have a lot to offer, but you may be surprised that the providers on our list are rather cheap. That’s because we filter out VPNs with unreasonable pricing and keep only those with a feature pack to match the price tag.

So, if you’re an exchange student in China trying to access Netflix US or a traveler missing your favorite shows, you’ll stream anything you want on Netflix with NordVPN. It passed our strict testing criteria with flying colors and is a great solution even for those on a tight budget.

Unblock Netflix in China with NordVPN

The status of Netflix in China

Netflix currently has a presence on every continent and has attracted more than 150 million subscribers to its streaming platform. But there’s one 2 billion strong market that the company hasn’t been able to tap: China.

The roots of the Netflix-China confrontation reach back to 2016 when Netflix launched a major global expansion. The Chinese government wasn’t keen to approve an influx of US-produced television, films, and documentaries, and blocked the introduction of the standard Netflix site into its territory.

However, there was some wiggle-room, and the question of Netflix in China is more complicated than you might think. Instead of launching Netflix, the streaming company struck a partnership with iQiyi, which would act as an intermediary. Under this agreement, Netflix could license content to iQiyi on a product-by-product basis. Beijing could maintain control of what was shown, while Netflix would profit from selling certain shows and movies to the Chinese audience.

Netflix blocked

The problem was, Chinese consumers didn’t embrace iQiyi’s content, which excluded most of the shows that have made Netflix an indispensable entertainment avenue in western countries. So the partnership fizzled out and officially ended in 2018.

As a result, Netflix moved on, focusing on India, and creating Chinese-language content to sell to Chinese people outside the country’s borders. As of 2020, this means that technically, Netflix is not blocked, but it isn’t available without external tools.

Visiting students, vacationers, travelers, and locals themselves can still access Netflix US and everything it has to offer by changing their IP address.

Stream Netflix in China

Netflix equivalents in China

Netflix is the global leader in delivering streaming content, but it’s not the only place for Chinese viewers to head for high-quality movies and TV shows. If you aren’t keen to take the risk of bypassing censorship and trying to access Netflix in China, these local providers could be worth checking out.

1. iQiyi

This is a very similar service to Netflix, and with more than 500 million registered users actually towers over the California-based company in terms of the user base. It was created in 2010 by the social network Baidu, and the content on offer tends to be closely in line with the priorities of Beijing’s censors.

iQiyi streaming platform

The range of programming available on iQiyi tends to slant heavily towards East Asian productions, with plenty of excellent Korean movies and TV shows, such as the hugely popular My Love from the Star. However, since the Netflix partnership ended, the selection of western shows has been pretty thin, limiting its potential for visitors to China.

2. Youku

Youku offers more of a YouTube-style experience. Owned by retail giant Alibaba, it hosts plenty of action-oriented police dramas, romance shows, and the odd Marvel superhero film (with Chinese subtitles).

3. Tencent Video

More like a digital version of Blockbuster than a Netflix clone, Tencent Video has over 900 million subscribers, making it the largest business of its type in the world. As far as watching movies is concerned, most experts see Tencent and iQiyi as the two major contenders.

Tencent Video platform

However, neither offers much US-produced TV content, and many popular movies are absent. And that’s why finding ways to access US Netflix in China are so important.

What is the Great Firewall of China?

The Great Firewall of China is a strict and sophisticated system of internet censorship and surveillance implemented by the Chinese government. It employs a combination of technological measures, including website blocking, keyword filtering, and content monitoring, to control and restrict access to foreign websites and online information that the government deems politically sensitive or culturally inappropriate.

The Great Firewall aims to regulate online discourse, maintain ideological control, and prevent the freedom of information that challenges the ruling party’s narrative or threatens its authority within the country.

Can you watch Netflix in China with a free VPN?

Free VPNs may be tempting to use, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Yet, they are simply ineffective. While some can be useful in specific cases, they are unlikely to work in China. In fact, even some premium providers don’t work in this country, despite having efficient security measures. Thus expectations are quite low for free services.

This is because free VPNs lack the infrastructure required to work with such challenging targets as the Great Firewall of China. A wide variety of servers, traffic obfuscation, advanced tunneling protocols, and many other features are necessary to bypass strict censorship. Unfortunately, free VPNs typically don’t offer these services.

On top of that, some unpaid VPNs pose security issues. Some of them are known to collect your personal information only to sell it to third-party advertisers. Even worse, a free service can contain harmful malware. Thus these providers are not worth the risk.

Instead, you can try getting a free trial or use money-back guarantees from reliable and renowned providers like NordVPN. This way, you’ll get to try out a premium service free of charge and see how effective it is.

Start with NordVPN today

Conclusion

Netflix is a fantastic streaming platform, hosting compelling dramas, surreal comedies, adult-oriented cartoons, and films that range from tearjerkers to all-action superhero adventures. It’s also been a global success story, spreading US television shows to every continent. Yet the service has not expanded into China yet.

With strict censorship and distribution agreements, Netflix is unavailable in the country. But those eager to stream the service can use a VPN. Since not all services are equally good at unblocking content on this platform, our tests suggest using NordVPN.

The provider efficiently breaks through the Great Firewall, allowing access to a wide range of platforms. The provider boasts a sizable network of servers and the fastest speeds on the market. On top of that, it comes at an affordable price.

Best deals this week

You may also like to read:
Best VPN for China
Best VPN for Russia
Best VPN for Taiwan
Best VPN for Hong Kong
Best VPN for Netflix
Best VPN for streaming


FAQ

Is there Netflix in China?

No, Netflix does not operate in China. However, if you reside in this country and want to use Netflix, you can use a VPN. By getting an efficient provider like NordVPN, you can unblock any Netflix library and watch your favorite shows.

Is Netflix blocked in China?

No, Netflix is not blocked in China. The popular streaming service has chosen not to expand to this country. As a result, people residing in China can only watch Netflix if they use a VPN.

Why can’t I access Netflix in China?

Netflix is not available in China. If you reside in this country and want to access the streaming platform, you’ll need to use a VPN. By choosing a reliable provider, such as NordVPN, you can switch your IP to the one that can unblock the foreign Netflix library.

How to get American Netflix in China?

You need to use a VPN. By getting a reliable provider such as NordVPN, you’ll be able to access American Netflix no matter where you live.

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