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How I Broke Through The Great Firewall of China

written by John Chow on March 31, 2013

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As many of you know, I’m in Shanghai, China for spring break. The last time I was here, the great firewall of China wasn’t much of a problem. Most of the sites that I used were accessible and available. This time around, most of those sites are completely blocked off.

I have no access to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Hootsuite, and a host of affiliate networks are blocked as well, including Clickbank. This is especially troublesome since I launched IM John Chow on Clickbank before leaving for Shanghai.

What I did to get around this problem was by setting up a remote computer back in California and using that computer to log into all the blocked sites. The program I used to do this is call Team Viewer.

teamviewer

Team Viewer sets up a virtual desktop on my local desktop so I can control the remote computer as if I was there. Because the remote computer is outside China’s great firewall, it can access any blocked sites. That’s how I’ve been updating my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

For the recent YouTube video of Sally and I at the top of the Pearl Radio Tower, I had to transfer the video from my Macbook to the remote computer, and then have the remote computer upload the video to YouTube. This was a real headache to say the least because the Internet here is not very fast.

I really don’t understand the thought process China goes through in deciding what sites to block and what sites to let in. While I wasn’t shocked that Facebook was blocked, I was kinda surprised that CNN was freely available. I guess the fact that CNN is english only might have something to do with it. At any rate, I’m not letting any great firewall stop me from making money online!

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{ 18 comments }

Charles Peng March 31, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Hi John, I am from China mainland near Shanghai, a VPN account is always needed to fuck the Great Firewall to access these popular websites.

Devin Tsai April 1, 2013 at 2:34 am

同行呀!俺是福建的,多多交流呀

Melissa March 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Great way to circumvent your way through sum more dollars!!!

I thing a part of us keep nagging us if we are not connected virtually in today’s world, I have too tried this Team Viewer software in the past and it works wonder for providing the key to the remote computer back at my home.

Thanks for let us know how you broke the wall!!!

Jonathan @ LeadSmack March 31, 2013 at 10:25 pm

lol, clever to say the least. I think it is crazy that they block freedom like that. I wonder the motive and also wonder who actually listens to that. My guess is that they are wasting money keeping control.

Lucian April 3, 2013 at 12:44 am

In communism, people are brainwashed and most of them are unable to protest anymore. They are always fed with info that the capitalism is bad and other people are dying because they have no food so they can be happy to get a slice of bread every day.

More, even in other countries, where the leaders of democratic countries want to have more control over people, industry, economy, etc, they are paying media and tv to tell how bad is the capitalism and to praise communist countries, so they can easily adopt changes that limit the rights and liberty of people, without risking riots and protests.

sandi April 1, 2013 at 1:49 am

John, you’ll take a few days off and rest :-(

Devin Tsai April 1, 2013 at 2:27 am

Hi John, I am from China mainland near Fujian,
Break through the firewall

I’ve been using

Google :https://code.google.com/p/goagent/

Ryan Bruno April 1, 2013 at 3:45 am

Pretty inventive way of getting around China’s firewall. I have problems sometimes in Thailand accessing sites I want to. Thanks for showing a way around this obstacle.

faisal April 1, 2013 at 6:09 am

China and their antics, never change.

Rafael April 1, 2013 at 8:08 am

hi john your site is very good! Conglatulations!!!

Erwin April 1, 2013 at 8:26 am

Hi everyone,

there are always some obstacles in our life but if we find a way to broke it, it makes us stronger.

All the best for you John and have a nice time.

Erwin

Vkool April 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

John,
It’s the exact problem we had in Vietnam a while ago, but it appear to function probably now. I used to use Ultrasulf and Hot Pot shield to access Facebook before but now we can use regular Internet providers to Use Facebook or any popular sites on the Internet.

Ahmad Khairy April 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Nothing gonna stop me doing what I want to do, a great attitude!! No wonder you could achieve such success in IM, I think this is the mindset all marketers and online entrepreneurs should have!

Abhik April 2, 2013 at 6:39 am

A simple proxy or VPN would have been much easier I guess :)

Dario Petkovic April 3, 2013 at 12:29 am

CNN in my opinion is just as propagandist as Chinese communist party is, hence they’ve let it through ;)

Jacobus April 6, 2013 at 2:38 am

TeamViewer is a great idea, but I must agree with some of the commenters above, isnt a VPN a better possibility? Anyway, hope at least you have a good time in Sjanghai… Hope to see that city once.

John Chow April 6, 2013 at 3:18 am

A VPN would be a better option than Team Viewer but I didn’t have one set up before I left.

Jacobus April 9, 2013 at 3:49 am

Hehe… yes, sometimes we forget things… Anyway, now you know for next time… And I guess China is not a bad place to be when you look at other things!