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LINE blocked in China – How To Access It Now?

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2014


China continues censor the internet at an astounding rate and its latest censorship target seems to be the messaging apps that have become incredibly popular over the last few years. Recently, the Chinese authorities blocked several popular social messaging sites and apps such as LINE (also known as Lianwo in China), KakaoTalk, Talk Box, Didi and Vower in the country. The government issued a statement saying that the apps have been blocked because they were being used by the terrorists to spread dangerous information and plan future terrorist attacks. Along with these messaging apps, photo and video sharing site Flickr was also blocked within the country.

Apart from blocking a number of messaging apps, the Chinese State Internet Information Office (SIIO) also issued guidelines that will govern the use of such services. Henceforth, users who want to use messaging apps will be required to sign in with their real names plus they would also need to seek permission from the authorities before indulging in political discussions. In addition, users would be required to sign an agreement pledging to uphold national interests, law, the socialist system as well as information authenticity. WeChat, the messaging app from Alibaba and Tencent Holdings and one of the few apps still working in the country, promised to act against offensive and abusive content to comply with the new regulations.

Internet Censorship In China

China is one of the most heavily censored countries in the world. The government has deployed an elaborate internet censorship system (also known as the Great Firewall of China) that can analyze and suppress information in real time. While the information is mostly blocked for political, ideological and security reasons; the authorities are free to block any website or app without facing any kind of repercussion. In fact, some of the biggest sites on the web such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail have been blocked by the authorities and are not available in the country. The recent blocking of messaging apps is not only seen as a step to counter terrorism related threats but also to block information coming out of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has recently witnessed a series of protests demanding full democracy within the territory and the Chinese authorities can ill afford to allow this kind of information to reach the mainland.

How To Access LINE And Other Messaging Apps From China?

If you are in China and wish to access LINE (or other blocked messaging apps) from over there then you would need to bypass the censorship rules set up by the Chinese authorities. The easiest way to do this is to subscribe to a Virtual Private Network service. VPNs encrypt your traffic and route it through a secure tunnel thus allowing you to circumvent the browsing rules defined by the Chinese ISPs. Since LINE is a mobile app, you must choose a VPN service that works flawlessly on Android and iOS devices. Before subscribing to a VPN, you must also make sure that the service works in China since the Chinese authorities have succeeded in blocking many VPN services in the country. In general PPTP and L2TP based VPN services are easier to detect and block so you must opt for a service that offers OpenVPN or SSTP based connections.

Some of the VPN Services Supported include:


November 4, 2014
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