Is Telegram blocked in China?
Is Telegram blocked in China?
Yes, Telegram is blocked in China. The messaging app and its website were censored in 2015 after a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on its servers in Asia Pacific, which some believe to be a state-sponsored act from China.
Tip: You can still use Telegram or other sites blocked in China if you use a VPN. Most VPNs won’t work so pick one from our list of VPNs that work in China.
Telegram users in China who attempt to use the app will not be able to send or receive messages.
Experts believe China targeted the app because it aided human rights lawyers in in the country, who the Communist Party views as a threat. According to news reports, Telegram was used to organize support activities by these legal professionals.
Telegram is popular among rights activists and other whistleblowers due to its end-to-end encryption. That encryption means Chinese authorities cannot decipher intercepted communications. Telegram also boasts a “secret chat” feature in which messages can be set to self destruct after a set period of time.
Blocking Western messaging apps like Telegram also funnels users to Chinese alternatives. This sort of protectionist practice can boost homegrown Chinese companies and allow authorities to better monitor behavior. WeChat is by far the most popular messaging app in China. It is closely monitored and censored by China’s internet police.
How to unblock Telegram in China
You can access Telegram in China by connecting to a VPN on your smartphone or tablet. A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a remote location of the user’s choosing. In this case, you can simply connect to a server outside of China that hasn’t been blacklisted by the Great Firewall, China’s advanced nationwide online censorship system.
VPNs are usually subscription services that require a monthly or yearly payment. Reputable VPN services give users a wide selection of servers to choose from around the world, unlimited bandwidth, strong security, and no data caps.
By connecting to a VPN in the United States, for example, you can use Telegram as if you were an American. A VPN will also unblock the Telegram website and the app store where you can download it from. In addition to Telegram, VPNs can unblock pretty much all the websites, apps, and other online services inaccessible in China.
Because Telegram is primarily a mobile app, be sure to choose a VPN provider that makes an app for your device’s operating system. VPNs work on both wifi and mobile data, but wifi is generally more stable.
China has caught on to this practice and blacklisted many VPN providers’ servers. Some still work reliably, however. Check out this list of our most highly recommended VPNs for accessing blocked content in China.
Our top choice is ExpressVPN, which touts 78 server locations, easy-to-use apps, and stable, fast speeds. Military grade encryption and no traffic logs make it an excellent choice for the privacy-conscious. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux (command-line).
Once you’ve installed the app, just log in and connect to a server in the country of your choice. Once the VPN connection is established, you may access Telegram as you normally would outside of China.