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How to Access Instagram in China (100% working solution)

Kate Hawkins
Last Updated by Kate Hawkins on June 19, 2022

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that, like most social media sites, Instagram is blocked in China. But that doesn’t mean you can’t update your followers while in the country.

Instagram works differently to other social media sites,  almost every function is only available on mobile devices, meaning you can’t rely on the usual computer solutions to get around the Great Firewall of China and access the app.

Luckily, we have the answer to your problem: a VPN! But be wary, as not all VPNs can bypass the Great Firewall of China efficiently or effectively, so you’ll need to know which ones actually work in the country.

Read on to find out just how to easy it is to access your Instagram while in China.

How to Access Instagram in China

China flag
China doesn’t only block social media sites, like Instagram, but also the use of VPNs, which means that if you’re underprepared it can be very difficult to unblock Instagram once you’re already in the country.

Chinese iTunes and Google Play stores have been ordered by the government to remove VPNs that don’t adhere to local laws and guidelines. As a result, you need to download your VPN app directly from the VPNs site.

You’ll also need to enable “apps from unknown sources” so that you can complete the installation. Once inside the country, this is your only chance of gaining access to the Instagram app, and to be honest with you, it isn’t a reliable one.

If you are just visiting China, either as a tourist, student, or expat, you simply need to install your chosen VPN app before you enter  China.  This way, you won’t have any issues with the first step to gaining access to your favourite social media app.

Once you have downloaded and installed your VPN, this is what you need to do:

  1. Open the app on your mobile device and sign in.
  2. Select a server in the US or another country that doesn’t restrict the use of social media and connect to it.
  3. Once you are connected, open the Instagram app.
  4. Sign in as usual and enjoy sharing your great photos and videos!

Best VPNs to Access Instagram in China

These top 5 VPNs allow you to easily update your Instagram while in China, but keep in mind that you need to install the VPN of your choice to your device BEFORE you go to the country or you will encounter endless trouble because they’ve removed VPNs from the Chinese iTunes and Google Play stores.


  • DNS leak protection
  • Automatic kill switch and split tunneling
  • Apps for iOS and Android
  • Stringent zero logs policy
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • 30 day money back guarantee

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  • Strict no logs policy
  • Robust encryption
  • Kill switch and DNS leak protection
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • Apps for iOS and Android
  • 30 day money back guarantee

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3IPVanish VPN

IPVanish VPN
  • Unlimited server switches
  • Robust zero logging policy
  • More than 1000 servers in 60+ countries
  • Up to 5 simultaneous devices
  • Apps for iOS and Android
  • 7 day money back guarantee

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  • Strict zero logs policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • Over 700 servers in 70+ countries
  • Free 3 day trial
  • Apps for iOS and Android

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Tips for Using Instagram in China

There are many frustrating things about using the internet in China, so here are a few tips to keep in mind when downloading and using a VPN for Instagram.

Download the VPN before arriving in China

Many people only realize the censorship issue exists when they have already arrived in China, and by then there is very little you can do. China censors the internet as well as social media sites and VPN sites. So, think ahead and download your VPN before arriving.

Practice patience

Using the internet, like with Instagram, in China can be frustrating as it is slower than what you will be used to. This is all part of the experience, so be patient and allow your VPN to do its thing at the fastest pace it can.

Final Thoughts

Virtual Private Network (VPN)
While it’s sad that regimes wanting to maintain complete control and authority over its citizens and the information that they can access and release exist in China, it is definitely 100% possible for you to access your Instagram and other social media networking sites in China if you follow the above steps and select one of our recommended VPNs.

They are all excellent at bypassing the restrictions put in place by the Great Firewall of China, while also offering robust security and privacy features that ensure you will not get into any trouble when posting pictures and videos to your Instagram.

Remember to download, install, and setup a VPN on your device before you go to China. All it takes is some creativity and a bit of patience, and you can easily share your Chinese experiences.

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Kate Hawkins
Kate Hawkins is a tech-focused writer and web expert with a keen interest in online security and privacy. She enjoys getting stuck into new technology and researching the latest cybersecurity trends to keep readers informed and safe online.