China has always been one of the biggest challenges for virtual private networks (VPN). Not many VPN providers can bypass the powerful Chines Firewall, and it’s something that has gained quite the attention over the past few years.
In other words, China and VPN service providers are not in good terms, but what about Chinese based VPNs?
As a matter of fact, you can find a handful of providers that are based or in some way associated with China. Regarding its strict internet regulations, the country is not the best choice for hosting VPN companies.
Although, if you do quick research, you will discover that some of the more popular providers are located in China which means their service can connect you to Chinese content when you're outside of China, and to the world's content when you're inside of China.
Best Chinese Based VPNs
If you are looking for a free VPN app for your Android, Zero VPN is one of the best choices. As a free VPN, the app has its own disadvantages, but it also has many positives.
For starters, unlike many other free VPNs, Zero VPN will not keep logs on you aside from the required ones and has excellent security features.
On the downside, acknowledging it is a free app, they compensate this by displaying ads in the VPN client. It also has a limited number of servers, but Zero VPN covers all the relevant locations you might need. For a wider choice of countries that offer better speeds, you can also purchase some of their VIP servers.
It is based in Hong Kong and has been operating successfully for a long time now, presenting Android users with an attractive free VPN choice that gives the necessary protection.
With Zero VPN you can connect securely even while you are using public Wi-Fi, and you can bypass basic geo-restrictions and circumvent censorship.
Some users have had a fair share of complaints, while others are utterly satisfied.
Overall, for a free VPN provider, Zero VPN is a pretty decent choice, although they still have a lot to work on. With some issues fixed and better customer support, Zero VPN can quickly become one of the best choices for a free VPN app.
As with the other suggestions, in most cases, Ivacy will too unblock geographical restrictions that you are dealing with, bypass censorship, even goes around more advanced firewalls.
Millions of people around the world put their trust in PureVPN, although what many of them do not know is that this provider is based in China. However, this information should not worry you, because PureVPN offers both excellent performance and secure and highly encrypted connections.
Finally, what makes it an attractive choice is its free 7-day trial, which is just about enough to see whether you should use this provider for the long term or not.
You might be surprised to find some familiar names on this list. Even some of the more popular VPN apps can be traced to China. And more precisely for these VPNs, Hong Kong.
So is this something you should be worrying about?
To find out the answer, let’s go over some history first.
Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Internet Restrictions
There is a crucial difference between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, and it’s quite important when it comes to VPNs.
Although they are a part of the same country, Hong Kong and Mainland China are two very different territories. For several decades, Hong Kong was a British colony. In 1997 the country ‘returned’ Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. Ever since that moment, China functions under the doctrine of “one country and two systems”. Hong Kong has limited autonomy and leans towards democracy, while Mainland China is under a communist regime.
In terms of internet freedom, you’ve probably heard this many times, but China shows one of the worst types of internet censorship and surveillance in the world. Most VPNs are banned from use, except for those that abide by the government’s regulations. There are almost zero internet freedom and a severe case of mass citizen surveillance.
On the other hand, Hong Kong’s jurisdiction is an even better choice than U.S. VPN providers or those located in the 14 Eyes Alliance countries.
Although not ideal, internet freedom in this part of life in Hong Kong, unlike the mainland. As a matter of fact, there is little to no censorship in Hong Kong, apart from laws that fight against the distribution of unlicensed content, copyrighting, and other more serious crimes such as the distribution of child pornography.
There is freedom of speech and press, as well as strong privacy laws - the complete opposite of the Chinese mainland.
Overall, Hong Kong is a decent location for VPN providers to be based and if you found your provider on the list above, there is nothing you should be worried about.
VPNs Located In China That You Should Avoid
What you should worry, however, is VPNs that leak or sell your data and do not protect your privacy.
Recent research showed that many free VPN apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store are under Chinese ownership, and have a shady background. This raises serious concerns on data privacy and it potentially puts in danger the millions of current users of these apps.
The Bottom Line On VPNs To China
A majority of these free VPN apps had unacceptable privacy policies, meaning they offered no privacy protection and some of them had no user support either. That leaves your data vulnerable and potentially exposed to third parties.
So when you start worrying about Chinese based VPNs, make sure you do some research on them. Apart from this, make sure your provider does not leak your information and that it has a zero logs policy that will prevent your information to fall into the wrong hands.
After all, users turn to VPNs when they want to protect their online privacy and to enjoy the internet without imposed restrictions, so don’t settle with a provider that offers anything less than that.
In the meantime, if you have a question regarding this topic or you want to express your opinion, make sure you leave a reply in the comment section below, or even better, leave a VPN review on our page.