How to Access Gmail in China 2022 (even when it&039s blocked)

is it possible to access gmail in china in 2022? even though gmail has been blocked since mid-2014, it is still possible to check your email using a vpn… as long as you re prepared. Here’s a quick explanation of what you need to know to access Gmail, or any email address, while in China.

gmail is blocked in mainland china, which includes all parts of china except taiwan, hong kong, and macau.

This means that once you land in China, by the time you try to open your email, you’ll find that your computer and phone can’t connect to the mail server.

many people use gmail for daily life and work, often without even knowing it. many companies around the world have migrated to gsuite tools (which includes gmail), although they use their own email name.

this means that even if your email address says “[protected email]”, it could still be hosted by gmail and therefore blocked in china.

that’s not good.

if you rely on gmail for communication, as many people do, what are your options to open gmail in china?

You’re going to want to access your email not only from your computer, but also from your phone.

let’s take a deeper look at what’s going on here and how to fix it.

Note: This article contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I will receive compensation if you use some of these services that I recommend.

is gmail blocked in china in 2022?

yes, gmail is blocked in china and has been censored since mid 2014.

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When it comes to being censored in china, gmail is certainly not alone. Starting in 2009, China began to block many different apps and websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and a host of Western media websites.

for a time, google had offices in beijing and provided search engine services for mainland china. which came to an end in early 2010 when google refused to censor their searches at the request of the Chinese government.

In a couple of months they packed up their office in Beijing and moved everything to Hong Kong.

china immediately began blocking all google-related services in retaliation. this includes pretty much any google service you can think of.

you can’t access youtube in china, google search, google maps, google translate and yes…

…not even gmail in china.

how to access gmail in china | 3 steps

what is a vpn? a brief explanation

In case you’ve never heard of a vpn before, you can think of it as a tunnel through a wall (for a more detailed description, see what is a vpn?).

even when china has censored everything, a vpn will tunnel and allow you to experience the internet as if you were outside of china.

There’s no need to dive into the details of how it works, just know that virtually any expat living in china, including me, uses a vpn.

I often get people asking me “is it legal to use a vpn in china”? It’s a legitimate question and I don’t take it lightly when I answer it.

There have been cases where a Chinese person has gotten in trouble for using a vpn and the government talks a lot about blocking vpns…and it still works.

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no foreigner has ever been punished for using a vpn because, frankly, the government doesn’t really care what foreigners watch.

access gmail | expat tips and tricks

In addition to the explanation above, I would like to share with you some simple tips and tricks that I have learned over the years of living and trying to use gmail in china. we hope you find some of these useful.

  • notifications vs. apps: for iphones, you’ll quickly learn that mail notifications come from a different server than your actual app data. In other words, you might get new email notifications on your phone even when you’re not on a VPN, but you won’t be able to open that email unless you’re on a VPN. don’t be fooled: even if you use apple’s mail app or another app to access your email, it’s still blocked without a vpn.
  • get a backup : In my experience china has a very unreliable connection when it comes to vpns. they will randomly block ip addresses and sometimes it will take an hour or more for the vpn to react and make changes. In those cases, I always subscribe to at least two vpns at a time while in china, as accessing gmail is very important to me. for me i use and recommend expressvpn as my primary vpn and then nordvpn as a backup. why? Both have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means if one doesn’t work as well as expected when it arrives, you still have your back and can return the other for a refund.
  • download before you go: As you might expect, downloading and installing a vpn in china is quite difficult (vpn websites are often blocked in china). it is better to do it before you go so that you do not have problems once you arrive in the country. trust me, it’s much better this way.
  • forward your email: if you really don’t want to pay a little money for a vpn service, you can forward all your email to a hotmail account or even open a sina china account. It’s not a very professional option and hotmail might get blocked too, but at least you can stay connected.
  • Secure your gmail account: Make sure you spend some time following these five steps to protect your gmail from hackers. this is especially true when accessing your email internationally.
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final thoughts on using gmail in china

It is quite possible to use gmail in china, and I hope you will have the opportunity to do so! Take advantage of the expressvpn discount as soon as possible.

take some time to make sure you have good vpn settings on your computer and phone before you travel to china and you should be good to go.

The same way you access facebook in china, it takes a bit of creativity and patience, but it can be worth it to be able to do a little work and stay connected with your friends and family back home. the effort.

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