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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 China’s.


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 even if you have a subscription.

Although Netflix is now available almost everywhere globally, China remains uncharted territory for the streaming service due 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 today’s article, I will describe how you can gain access to Netflix as easily 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 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 that country’s physical boundaries, 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:

Steps to Unblock American Netflix In China

Recommended Method: Use ExpressVPN (Best VPN for Netflix in China) US-based servers to trick Netflix into thinking that you are located in the US.
You can follow these steps to watch American Netflix in China without any buffering:

  1. Get the subscription to ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Launch the VPN app and enter your login details.
  4. After logging in, connect to a US Server location.
  5. Visit the Netflix website or app, and enjoy the US content library in China.

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

Since many providers cannot bypass the Great Firewall, you will need a VPN that works in China to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more.

ExpressVPN (Features, Pros, and Cons) 

ExpressVPN is the only answer to the question “how to get Netflix US in China?“. It has been one of the best VPN providers for Netflix that works exceptionally well for changing the Netflix region.

If you need a VPN with a fast speed that can get you uninterrupted streaming on 1080p and HD quality video for unblocking Netflix, then you can’t go wrong with ExpressVPN.

With a VPN server network of over 3000+ servers in 94 countries, you will be able to access Netflix US in China and unblock other regions’ libraries as well from anywhere around the globe.

ExpressVPN is not only about streaming content; it offers strong data protection, lightning-fast connectivity, Internet Kill Switch feature, 24/7 customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee to offer you the best combination of streaming and online experience.

However, you will have to increase your budget to afford this VPN, which costs $6.67/mo. For those who can afford it, ExpressVPN should be their top choice for US Netflix in China.

Recommended servers: United States – Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York, USA – New Jersey – 1

Pros
  • 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
  • Offers excellent 24/7 customer support
  • Provides 5 multi-logins
  • Fast speeds
  • Unblocks Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
Cons
  • A little more pricey than other providers

Bonus Feature: Smart DNS to Stream American Netflix in China

One of the main thing which makes ExpressVPN stand out from the rest is, its Smart DNS called “ExpressVPN MediaStreamer” which is included with all the premium VPN subscriptions. This Smart DNS service will also let you access streaming content at high speed, without connecting the VPN and using your own IP address. It is completely free of cost, and only purchasing a VPN subscription will enable us to use this Smart DNS feature.

After purchasing an ExpressVPN premium subscription, you will be eligible to use this “MediaStreamer” service. You will have to whitelist your Internet Service Provider IP address on their website. After that, enter one of the DNS IP addresses provided by ExpressVPN on your device. You should be able to unblock Netflix US in China without the need to connect VPN.

Smart DNS services are convenient for accessing content on a device such as a router, smart TVs, or gaming consoles.

Here’s a video tutorial to help you set up the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer feature on Windows:

Comparison of Speed between Smart DNS and VPN

Since ExpressVPN offers both VPN and Smart DNS features, we decided to compare the speed of both. Following are the results of our investigation we conducting using a 100 Mbps connection.

ExpressVPNMediaStreamer
Atlanta – 75.3 Mbps86.3 Mbps
Chicago – 78 Mbps89.3Mbps
Los Angeles – 72.4 Mbps82.1 Mbps
Miami – 73.4 Mbps88.5 Mbps
New York – 71.7 Mbps83.6 Mbps

Why Is Netflix Geo-restricted in China?

Netflix Streaming in China

Netflix is available in about 200 nations, 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.

However, the Chinese market is extremely tough to decode, largely due to the government’s strict regulations. Netflix did have a deal with iQiyi (owned by Chinese search engine giant Baidu), whereby some of its content was shown, but that has since stopped.

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

Moreover, Netflix is producing a good number of Mandarin titles in hopes of pleasing the Chinese population that may lead to another deal with iQiyi, but this doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

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.

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 Movies
United States4593
Canada2562
United Kingdom1586
Australia158
France1485
Germany1440
Japan1181

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

How to watch Netflix in China with a free VPN?

To watch Netflix in China, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Get a free VPN that works in China (we recommend ExpressVPN). Free VPNs cannot bypass Netflix’s firewall.
  2. Connect to a U.S server for the best content.
  3. Start watching your favorite content.

That being said, the chances of a free VPN working in China and getting you access to Netflix are very slender. Chinese government continuously keeps shutting down VPN access by imposing different security and network restrictions.

Free VPNs don’t have the resources to keep finding ways to overcome the Chinese government internet network restrictions. Apart from the mentioned reason, we have listed a few more reasons which should be enough to convince you why using a free VPN in China isn’t fruitful.

  • Bandwidth – Free VPN providers offer only a limited amount of bandwidth on each account. At the end of this bandwidth, you will either have to wait for them to recharge it, or maybe you will have to sign up again using a different email address.
  • Speed – Due to no network management, over-crowded servers, and additional Chinese government network restrictions, the speed you will receive will barely open a webpage.
  • Server Locations – Usually, free VPNs offer a maximum of just 5 server locations. Out of those, half of the servers will not work due to the network restriction in China. Leaving you with half of the servers to use.
  • Security & Privacy – Without any regular network administration, maintenance, and degradation, the standard of security and privacy offered by those servers will be very low.

Using a VPN inside China – What you should know!

Chinese government continuously blocks VPNs within their territory. They have been using many sophisticated methods, like Deep Packet Inspection, to track down VPN provider’s activity. Even many VPNs that attempt to hide their traffic can’t bypass the restrictions. As such, you need a VPN with advanced cloaking technology (such as ExpressVPN) that successfully disguises its traffic as a regular internet connection.

Another way to stop different VPN providers is in the form of blocking the VPN provider’s website. In addition to that, App Store has agreed not to offer VPN applications in its store in China. Therefore, if you are playing to visit China, make sure to download the VPN application before landing there.

Since VPN websites are blocked in China, it is also difficult to access tutorials and set up guides for the VPN configuration. Therefore, it is vital to download those files and documents before you visit China.

VPNs are banned in China, but that doesn’t mean it is illegal to use VPN in China.

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 that 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.

Netflix asking for login details automatically while using it with VPN in China?

Once you have found a working server for Netflix in China, it is strongly advised to keep connecting to it for at least Netflix purposes. As if you connect to any other location, Netflix may lock your account after signing in from a different IP address and force you to change your password.

Summing Up

Even though Netflix is not actually banned in China, no licensing agreements mean the service hasn’t reached this country. As such, Netflix fans wanting to watch Netflix US in 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.

People in China shouldn’t be asking this question, “How to get Netflix US in China?” anymore after our thorough investigation, proved that only ExpressVPN is fully capable of unblocking this streaming giant reliably, efficiently, and regularly in China.