Simplest Way to Access Facebook, Instagram & Gmail in China without VPN

As some of you may have already know by now, with thanks to TigerAir, our Travel Blog recently took a trip to China and realized how much it has changed in terms of their network and Facebook etc since our last visit there. During our first visit to China in 2014, Facebook was already banned but accessing Instagram and Google was still possible. But changes in their government policies in the recent years meant that it is now no longer possible to access facebook, instagram and Google (including Gmail) in China.

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We went to China this time well aware of this fact, thinking how we’ll be able to survive a few days without social media, but if you are like the typical Gen Y-ians that we are, staying away from social media may seem harder than it actually is. And even if you are not from Generation Y / Millennial trying to access social media, not being able to access Google and Gmail may be disruptive to working adults.

We were bored out of our wits in our hotel room and by the 2nd day we were in China, we were already looking for ways to access social media and our work gmail. We begun asking around if there’s any way to do so and we were bombarded by friends telling us about creating some sort of VPN etc to get pass their network.

But if you are anything like us and is not technically savvy, all this VPN talk may seem foreign and confusing.

Thankfully, we found a way to do so without involving any of the technically confusing stuff.

How to Use Facebook/Instagram/Google in China

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To access Social Media platforms (Facebook, Instagram etc) and Google in China, don’t rely on their local wifi systems / routers / sim card etc. Simply purchase an overseas Data Plan from your local service carrier before heading to China.

For our Singapore Travel Blog‘s case, where our local service provider in Singapore is Singtel, we purchased a Singtel Data Saver Plan for  just $25/day for Unlimited 4G Data in China. We then tethered the data by using a hotspot and sharing the data between both our phones. (*Do note that using hotspot drains the phone’s battery relatively quickly, so only on your hot-spot when you need it)

You can purchase the Singtel Data Saver Plan by either downloading and using the MySingtel app or call “100#”. They will then reply you with the relevant information to let you know which country and how many days would you have your data for.  *PS THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST

While we are NO technical experts, when you use China’s Wifi at their hotels/restaurants etc or purchase their Sim cards, you are using their China networks where the bans are in place. What we personally believe is that when you purchase an overseas data plan from your LOCAL service provider, you are using your local networks/satellite etc and effectively bypassing the bans.

While this worked for Singapore’s service provider, we believe that it would too work regardless of which country you are from.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family heading to China!

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