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Knowledge Base

What to Do if Your Website is Blocked in China?

The "Great Firewall of China" is China's internet censorship or surveillance project operated by the People's Republic of China's Ministry of Public Security. The project aims to protect the Chinese population from specific information that the People's Republic of China regards as being against the best interests of the government and citizens of China. It prohibits access to entire websites and censors content on websites that are not fully blocked.

Why is Your Website Blocked in China?

Bluehost provides shared hosting services where we host multiple websites on a single server. These websites share one IP address, and instead of having a unique IP address for each domain, you share an IP address with all the other accounts on the server.

The disadvantage is that certain countries, such as China, censor specific websites by their IP address. If a website blocked by a country is hosted on the same server as your website, and that country blocks the shared IP address, then your website and all the other websites on that server will also be blocked. As a result, if your clients are located in China, they will not be able to access your website.

How to Check if a Website is Blocked in China

Checking if a website is blocked in China involves using online tools that simulate accessing the website from various locations within China. Due to China's internet censorship system, commonly known as the "Great Firewall," many websites are restricted. Here's how you can check the accessibility of a website in China:

  • Use Online Test Tools: There are several online services designed to test if a website is accessible from within China. Examples include the "GreatFire Analyzer," "China Firewall Test," and "ViewDNS.info's China Firewall Test." These tools check the website's URL against servers located in different parts of China to see if they can be reached.
  • Test Through VPN Services: Some VPN services offer servers located in China. By connecting to a VPN server in China, you can attempt to access the website directly and see if it is accessible. However, this method might not always provide accurate results due to VPN restrictions within China.
  • Check with Contacts Inside China: If you have contacts in China, you can ask them to try accessing the website and report back on its availability. This method provides a direct check but depends on the availability and willingness of your contacts.
  • Research Online: Often, information about websites being blocked in China is discussed in online forums, news articles, and reports on internet freedom. A quick search might reveal if the website you're interested in is known to be blocked.

Remember, the status of a website's accessibility in China can change frequently as policies and the firewall's filtering criteria are adjusted. Therefore, it's a good idea to use multiple methods or check periodically for the most current information.

Troubleshooting Your Blocked Website in China

Attempts to bypass the Great Firewall have been made by those residing in China and individuals outside the country since its initial implementation. They establish an encrypted tunnel using a VPN to hide the traffic destination. However, the Chinese government is taking active measures to detect and block VPN access points, challenging this approach.

One of the alternatives to reach a Chinese audience without the website being blocked is getting a dedicated IP address, which would make your website separate by having its unique IP address. So, if the shared IP address were blocked, your website would not automatically be blocked along with it.

Note: Currently, dedicated IP is not offered in your Bluehost account. However, we are working to make this feature available. We ask for your patience during this process, and we will inform you as soon as the service becomes accessible.

Summary

The "Great Firewall of China" is an internet censorship or surveillance project that aims to protect the Chinese population from specific information that the People's Republic of China regards as being against the best interests of the government and citizens of China. Understand why your website might be blocked due to shared hosting services. One of the solutions to this problem is getting a dedicated IP address. Although BRAND does not currently offer dedicated IP, we are working to make this feature available.

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us via Chat or Phone:

  • Chat Support - While on our website, you should see a CHAT bubble in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Click anywhere on the bubble to begin a chat session.
  • Phone Support -
    • US: 888-401-4678
    • International: +1 801-765-9400

You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.

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