Imagine landing in China and realizing that you can’t connect to your home? Even worse- you can’t make calls, receive/send messages, and can’t even access local services. Staying connected to family, friends, and colleagues are very important for any traveler, but the same thing can be quite challenging if you are traveling to China.
Thanks to the Great Firewall, you only get access to a few applications in the Country. Websites and apps like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter are inaccessible in China. Plus, the difference in time zone makes it more complicated to arrange conference calls and other meetings.
Have a look at some workaround, to help you stay connected to home when you are in China:
First, Get A Local SIM:
Of course, using your phone in China can be the obvious and easiest option, it increases your bill more than twice. So, get a local SIM card of a Chinese contact number and connect to your home. Just make sure your device is unlocked for international usage.
Also, the tariff charges may vary depending upon the area, data limits, location, and the service plan. Besides, if you want to use your cell phones, talk to your local service provider about international rates and plans. Likewise, payphones and hotel phones can also be very expensive for making international calls.
Purchase A VPN:
The Great Firewall of China doesn’t only block Google-related websites, but many communication and social media apps. But, a VPN will allow you to surpass both Geo-blocking as well as China’s censorship.
Moreover, if you are someone who’s always in quest of free Internet, then accessing services without VPN can trouble your security. But with a VPN, you can keep computer viruses and other bugs at bay. It will encrypt data through various secure channels, thereby preventing it from hackers.
Get Social Media Apps That Are Not Restricted:
While China restricts most social media apps, few applications are not blocked in China. Have a look at them:
Reddit: Reddit is one of the few social media Western sites that is accessible in China. The social media, discussion site, and the news aggregation app are quite popular among the youth. They even consider it one of the best apps for connecting with the people who share the same interests.
Weibo: It functions the same as Twitter and has millions of daily users from China only. While the application is more for Chinese residents, your friends and family will not be more familiar with this. However, if you want to stay connected with local and international news, keep it in your phone.
Other Smartphone Apps:
Wechat: WeChat is the most popular and free messaging app with features as much as other popular social media apps like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. With this, you can send instant messages to your family and friends, have a high-quality voice and video calls, share multimedia, connect to new friends, and a lot more.
Facetime: FaceTime is a pre-installed video calling application that lets you use any device (iPad, iPhone) to connect anywhere in the world. All you need is a safe and speedy WI-Fi connection or data pack. The only downside of this app is that it doesn’t work if your contacts don’t have an Apple device.
Yahoo Mail: Yahoo Mail is another important mail server that is not blocked in China. If you are thinking of using Email as your primary source of connecting to home and work, Yahoo Mail would be the best. You can use this without connecting to a VPN.
So, those were a few things you should keep in your mind when traveling to China.