Phones, laptops and internet restrictions in China

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Phones, laptops and internet restrictions in China

Postby leela » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:50 pm

I'm reading at the moment, that crossing the land borders from Kyrgyzstan involves border guards examining and checking phones and computers for content, and installing an app on phones.

If travelling with a laptop that one's used for work, presumably it's wise to upload everything work related to the cloud, then delete it? As far as any other content on tech equipment is concerned, does anyone know how best to manage this and what sort of things they're looking for/suspicious of in particular?

The intention was to install a VPN before entering China, in order to access Facebook/Instagram etc. But might any VPN be deleted by border guards or at checkpoints? We're expecting Xinjiang to be especially difficult, but would it be possible to download a VPN later in the trip?

Any information on the present state of play re: govt and police checks on technology, and internet access in Xinjiang/the rest of China would be appreciated.
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Re: Phones, laptops and internet restrictions

Postby bwv812 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:58 pm

Don't know about Kazakhstan, but China will install an app on your phone and scan it.

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Re: Phones, laptops and internet restrictions

Postby steven » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:00 am

Have you read our new article It links out to advice for business people from the Dutch government, as well as an article that explains VPNs for China.
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Re: Phones, laptops and internet restrictions

Postby Lovetheworld » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:11 am

There is difference in information on your devices causing you trouble, or that it is business sensitive information that you don't want to get stolen.

But maybe it doesn't matter, store it in a safe cloud service or from your office. Don't keep anything on your devices and if you want to be 100% sure to use your devices after China, give them a reset to factory installation.

I have found SSH connections hard to setup in China when I was there for work.
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Re: Phones, laptops and internet restrictions in China

Postby BakuBound » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:06 pm

I have heard that VPN use is strictly forbidden in Xinjiang, and that your SIM card will be blocked if you're detected using a VPN there. Myself, I did not test this: I kept my VPN off in Xinjiang. But no problem using a VPN elsewhere in China.

Yes, you need to download, signup and pay for a VPN before arriving in China.

Most VPNs are iffy in China these days. Not a good idea to post about ones that seem to work.
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