Note: Netflix, the world’s largest media service provider, is not available for viewers in China. Note that the service is not banned in the country: it is simply not available due to lack of licensing agreements with content providers in China. Therefore, to view 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 availability 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 an 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 in as easy a way as possible and make sure you attend to your binge-watching tendencies on your visit to China.
Watch American Netflix in China with a VPN
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 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 digital location with a VPN to watch US Netflix in China:
|Rank||Providers||Price ($)||Discount||More Info|
| 70% Off |
2 Year Deal
| 66% Off |
2 Years Plan
| 83% Off |
2 Years Deal
| 73% Off |
6 months Free
| 35% OFF |
No Exclusive Offer
- Purchase a VPN subscription that works in China
- Download and install it on your system or device
- Login to the VPN to start and choose a US server location
- Visit Netflix and access the largest library of TV shows and movies ready for streaming
See our blog on the best VPN for China before you select one, since many providers are unable to bypass the Great Firewall of China. You can also have a look at the Netflix VPN Services that are still working in 2018.
Why Is Netflix Geo-restricted?
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.
Other Ways of Netflix Streaming 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: SmartDNS. This service enables users to spoof their location, much like a VPN, minus the encryption and security features that are integrated in VPNs.
As a result, SmartDNS 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 SmartDNS services. Therefore, the use of 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 SmartDNS.
Chinese Equivalent to Netflix
Although Chinese viewers are deprived of Netflix, there are several video streaming services native to China which come somewhat close to Netflix.
1. IQIYI Movie
One such service is iQiyi. It is owned by the Chinese search engine, Baidu. It is quite popular with huge inflow of subscribers. In fact, it reported a 75% increase in subscribers, whereas Netflix missed its subscriber target in the second quarter.
2. Tencent Video
Tencent Video is another over-the-top (OTT) streaming service in China that is massively popular. The service has more than 63 million subscribers and has beaten even iQiyi in terms of market share this year. As such, the OTT streaming industry in China is booming and locals have multiple Netflix equivalents available at home.
Latest on American Netflix: [October 2018 Releases]
Netflix will be releasing some long-awaited movies and TV shows this October. If you are traveling from the US to China, you really shouldn’t let geo-restrictions prevent you from watching these shows. So don’t forget to pack a VPN, fellas.
Here are some upcoming releases on Netflix to watch out for:
- Apostle: Releasing October 12th, 2018
- Daredevil: Releasing October 19th, 2018
- The Night Comes for Us: Releasing October 19th, 2018
- Bodyguard: Releasing October 24th, 2018
- Robozuna: Releasing October 24th, 2018
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:
|Region||Number of Titles|
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 much different servers you can. Some work better than others depending on your actual location.
- Switch protocol: The default protocol used by most VPNs today is 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.
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.
American Netflix in China: Summing Up
In spite of the fact that Netflix is not actually banned in China, no licensing agreements means the service simply hasn’t reached this country yet. As such, Netflix fans traveling from 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.