Getting around Internet issues can be a struggle, especially when one is in China and trying to conduct some sort of business or blogging service that relies heavily on the US social media trio of Twitter, Google and Facebook. Over the years of working in China I have grown accustomed to the issues and have developed some strategies that everyone can utilize if they’re struggling to hop on to their home base social media site and get in touch with their user base.
Firstly, make a list of hotels that have open Internet. About 50% of 5 star hotels in China have open Internet that is rerouted through Hong Kong or South Korea. You’ll know almost immediately if you step in the lobby and your Yahoo is in Chinese or Korean. For some odd reason, the default Yahoo over standard Chinese Internet is English, I guess because there is no true operational Yahoo in Mainland China, so it defaults to yahoo US. If and when I find one, I always take note of the location and then just go there when I need to complete some work and enjoy a sparkling water or a sandwich in the lobby lounge.
Secondly, If you’re struggling to find a location, or just don’t have time to look, try using the Chinese cellular data network to log on to your favorite social media apps. True story, all these 5-6 years in China I never knew that the cellular data network was open (this might have just happened recently), it occurred that I was on a business trip with a partner when he showed me that he was freely surfing Facebook while on LTE. Most people assume that data costs over seas are ridiculous so they don’t even bother, but if you sign up for your cell services over seas package, the data usage is not a big issue as long as you stick to the app versions.
Additionally, you can toggle between multiple data companies in China to find the best signal sharing with your cell company, ATT can piggy back off of all of the Chinese cell carriers with China Unicom having the best signal. More and more of these loopholes have seemed to be popping up over the years and it is a very welcome revelation. I can speak firsthand when I say that the mainland Chinese are travelling all over the world now and there is nothing that you can blind their eyes to, sooner or later, the Chinese government might find it to be a waste of financial resources to have such strict internet control, here’s to a bright future in the PRC of surfing the net!