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China’s Government Bans CNN. Here’s How to Watch the channel Safely

Chase Williams Last Updated by Chase Williams on March 24, 2021

When it comes to websites censored by the Chinese government, there are few bigger targets than CNN.com. The US-based 24-hour-a-day news channel has covered events in China since its inception in the 1980s, providing coverage of some of the nation’s biggest black eyes, notably the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

How to Watch the CNN channel Safely
It is therefore not surprising that the Western news organization’s website has been banned in China; the same holds true of other well-regarded standouts of the industry, including the BBC, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

This block applies to anyone currently in China, whether you’re a citizen, a tourist, or a visiting businessperson. The only sustainable way to access CNN in China is to use a virtual private network (VPN) to work around the The Great Firewall of China – the name given the government’s complete control of every computer’s ability to access the Internet.

What is the Process of How a VPN Works?

VPNs are used by most businesses in China that have partners or clients located outside of the country’s borders. VPNs allow computers in China to access the banned parts of the Internet by connecting their users to a remote server located outside of China. This practice is generally known as using a proxy server, but VPNs take it one step further by creating an encrypted “tunnel”  between your Internet-capable device and the remote server.

Any information sent through this tunnel is hidden from any third parties, such as your Chinese Internet Service Provider (ISP) or any government watchdogs trying to access your connection. Once your connected to a remote server, you can begin making request of sites you want to view, such as CNN. Your requests are encrypted, sent to the remote server, and decrypted there. The remote server then sends your requests to the Internet under a new IP address from the country it’s located in.

The data packets sent from the website travel first to the remote server, where they are encrypted and sent to your location. The better quality VPNs carry extra security features to enhance your privacy, such as kill switches that will sever your Internet connection should the VPN fail.

How Do I Use a VPN to Access CNN in China?

  1. Research and choose a VPN client by researching them online and determining which makes the most sense for your particular needs.
  2. Download the VPN client of your choice. If you are traveling to China, it is wise to do this before entering the country, as many VPN apps and sites are blocked by the government’s censorship.
  3. Install the VPN and open a new connection. Select a remote server outside of China in a country that does not have similar censorship laws concerning CNN.
  4. Once the connection is made, begin browsing CNN and any other websites you wish, safe in the knowledge that your connection is private and secure.

What are the Best VPNs for Accessing CNN in China?

There are lots of great VPNs out there, but not all of them are successful when it comes to working around The Great Firewall of China. The following three are examples of those that are proven to beat the censorship put in place by the Chinese government.


HideMyAss VPN

When it come to name originality, it’s hard to beat HMA VPN, which has 760 servers available spread across more than 320 locations. The clever name aside, it excels at accessing restricted content, which is pretty much everything in China, and it is known for having excellent speed capabilities.

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2Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN gets a bad rap for being located in the United States, but its security is impossible to beat. It features a kill switch, DNS leak protection, SOCKS5 compatibility, and some of the highest-level encryption in the industry. Factor in its server count – more than 3,000 at last check, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

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3IPVanish VPN

IPVanish VPN

IPVanish VPN is legendary for its encryption, which is the same used by the US government, and lauded for its merits by privacy experts around the globe. Like Private Internet Access, it’s located in the US, but that doesn’t stop it from offering more than 1,000 servers in some 60 countries. Even better, all IPVanish packages come with unlimited bandwidth as well as unlimited peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic.

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Chase Williams
Chase is an experienced web security expert. He has researched and written extensively on a variety of online security topics