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Note: Netflix, the world’s largest media service provider, is not available for viewers in China. The service is not banned in the country: it is simply not available due to a lack of licensing agreements with content providers in China. Therefore, to stream Netflix in China, you need to spoof the Firewall of Netflix, rather than that of China.

Traveling to China and worried you’ll miss out on Netflix shows coming out soon? You are not alone.

American Netflix hosts the largest library of shows and movies available for streaming at high quality. The content available on the streaming website varies from region to region which implies that a show might be viewable from one location, but not from another. This holds true even if you have a subscription.

Although Netflix is now available almost everywhere in the world, China still remains uncharted territory for the streaming service owing to licensing issues. As such, not only is US Netflix out of bounds for travelers and locals in China, there is not even a Chinese version of the streaming site to compensate.

However, watching Netflix in China is still entirely possible.

In the following passages, I will describe how you can gain access to it as easy as possible and make sure you attend to your binge-watching tendencies on your visit to China.

How to Watch American Netflix in China with a VPN

Watch American Netflix in China

Image Credits: Netflix

VPN or Virtual Private Networks are software tools that can change your IP address and thus your location as it is digitally seen over the network. Using a VPN, you can pretend to be living in the US while having tea at your home in Australia. The same principle applies no matter where you are located in the world.

Since Netflix is geo-restricted i.e., each county has a version that is only accessible within the physical boundaries of that country; you can’t access libraries of your choice.

To do so, you will need a VPN service. Here is how you can change your location with a VPN to access American Netflix in China:

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Steps to Unblock American Netflix In China

  1. Purchase a VPN subscription that works in China
  2. Download and install it on your system or device
  3. Login to the VPN to start and choose a US server location
  4. Visit Netflix and access the largest library of TV shows and movies ready for streaming

To watch Netflix in other regions, check out these guides:

Also, you can read our blog on the best VPNs for China and choose a VPN as per your requirement since many providers are unable to bypass the Great Firewall of China.

Why Netflix Is Geo-restricted in China?

Netflix Streaming in China

Netflix is available in about 190 countries, which is almost all of the world. However, each country gets a different form of Netflix, depending on licensing agreements with partners and providers within each region.

Netflix has been unable to form deals with content providers in China yet. This is the reason why the service is not available in China, even though there is no ban on Netflix to offer services in the country.

The only option that Chinese users have is to spoof their location and use the Netflix of foreign regions to savor the high-quality streaming experience it brings.

Smart DNS to Stream American Netflix in China

If for some reason you are not too fond of VPN services, you might still be able to watch American Netflix in China through a distinct type of technology: Smart DNS. This service enables users to spoof their location, much like a VPN, minus the encryption and security features that are integrated into VPNs.

As a result, Smart DNS services are able to offer faster speeds, but the trade-off is manifested as weaker security. In addition, the firewall at Netflix is improving with time and it is relatively easy for it to block Smart DNS services.

Therefore, the use of a VPN is more reliable and also safer if you want Netflix in China, owing to the sophisticated encryption and obfuscation mechanisms used by these services, which are simply lacking in Smart DNS.

Netflix Title Availability by Region

There is a significant difference between the number of titles available in the US library of Netflix and its library in other regions. A glimpse at the table below will highlight the sheer magnitude of the difference:

RegionNumber of Titles
United States5665
United Kingdom2967

Thus, there is clearly a wide disparity between the content you can find on Netflix US and the titles available in Netflix Japan.

Netflix Not Working in China Despite Using a VPN?

Here are some useful tips.

If you have purchased a VPN and are still experiencing problems accessing Netflix in China, then you should try making the following changes in settings:

  • Change servers: Leading premium VPN services offer multiple servers in the same country, distributed in different cities. Take advantage of this feature and change servers if you are unable to access Netflix from one. For instance, if you are trying to access Netflix with a Washington server, change it to New York and then try again. In fact, try as many different servers as you can. Some work better than others depending on your actual location.
  • Switch protocol: The default protocol used by most VPNs today is an open VPN. If the default setting doesn’t seem to be working, try changing the protocols. For instance, PPTP is less secure but offers more speed and SSTP can bypass firewalls with greater effectiveness than others. You should be able to find one setting that grants you access to US Netflix in China.

But, if the problem still exists then you can unblock Netflix by changing Netflix’s region and watch your favorite TV shows and movies without any hassle.

US Netflix in China: FAQs

Can I Watch Netflix in China?

Yes, you can. All you need is a working VPN in China which has the capability to bypass Netflix’s restrictions. Read above for more details.

Can you Watch Downloaded Netflix within China?

Certain shows and movies on Netflix can be downloaded through the service’s apps. However, these apps are only available for Android, iOS, and Windows 10.

If you are traveling to China, download a VPN and the Netflix app on your device, as well as the show you want to download for offline viewing while you are in China. You can also download Netflix within China as long as you have the Netflix app and a VPN.

Is Netflix Blocked in China?

No, Netflix is not blocked in China per se. It simply hasn’t been able to form licensing agreements with providers and authorities in China, which is why you get an unavailability error when you try to visit Netflix from the country.

Summing Up

In spite of the fact that Netflix is not actually banned in China, no licensing agreements mean the service simply hasn’t reached this country yet. As such, Netflix fans traveling from the US to China have no options other than using a VPN to safely bypass geo-restrictions and access the leading streaming service from the comfort of their homes.

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