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Buying a new mobile phone in China- How to download the VPN?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by seendee, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. seendee

    seendee New commenter

    hi, everyone! I just bought a new phone in China- Huawei Honor- but need to download whatsapp, Facebook and other apps . Any idea how to download the VPN first of all?

    I have my Express Vpn downloaded and been used in my old phone and computer.

    Thank you!
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    We never found a way to download a VPN on a Chinese phone when you are already in China. My Huawei will run Google and Facebook without a VPN because we are no longer in China.
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    There is something call the Small Chinese Fire Wall installed in the firmware/software on many mobile devices sold in China. This prevents many applications in English been installed onto a basically sold for China mobile phone, this is to prevent grey exports of Chinese goods to western countries. I can install Maps in Chinese but not the English version to navigate myself around China. Many devices in China are only licenced for sale within China for marketing and patent reasons. Even in the UK I could not download many applications in English until I had the phoned rooted and a new version of the firmware and Android installed.

    Second reason you may need to be using a VPN to install a VPN on your phone or you have to be outside of mainland China to load the software. You may need to find someone with the VPN already installed on a device that can share wifi access with your mobile to install the software.
  4. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    If it's not too late - return it and get yourself a phone from Taobao from Hong Kong with Honk Kong setting. Then you can download VPN. Honestly, otherwise it is a pain. I'm sure somehow there is a way around it, but unless you are planning on leaving the country soon and being able to download it while on holiday you might be hitting a brick wall.
  5. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Simple. Go to local police station. Ask them how to download a VPN to read anti government propaganda. Get free stay in China for 3 years....food and accom included!

    Joking aside as I understand it from friends you have to set it up overseas.
  6. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    I did what @february31st did. Went to a frind’s house and used her VPN to set it all up. Huawei phone
  7. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Two problems with it being a Chinese phone.

    1. Now I am no longer in China it won’t let me change my phone number to overseas to access huawei cloud back up.
    2. It randomly speaks to me in Chinese telling me to put a jacket on because it’s cold outside (25C here) or that there is a traffic snarl up on the Shanghai outer ring road.

    I can’t seem to turn the give helpful advice in Chinese function off.
  8. walkingfred

    walkingfred Occasional commenter

    I have a Xiaomi phone and managed to download a VPN in China. Some schools in China have servers abroad so you could ask colleagues from other schools and get onto their WiFi to download, or go to a friend who has a VPN Router and download there. A friend sent me the VPN app on WeChat and it works fine.
  9. seendee

    seendee New commenter

    Thank you all!
    I have managed to download Express VPN on my Huawei phone. I have also installed the Google play store in my phone. BUT the problem is I cannot open the play store. Once I click on it, it only blink for 1 second and nothing happen.
    I suspect the phone has a software built in to refuse to open any 'outsiders' application even you have VPN ?

    I only need to have Whatsapp and Facebook on my new phone for now.
    Advice please. Thank you!
  10. seendee

    seendee New commenter

    @february31st as you said, can I have my phone rooted the new version of firmware for the android and will it solve the problem?

    If the Small Chinese Fire Wall installed in the firmware/software on many mobile devices sold in China, then even if you go Hongkong to download the apps, it will not work, will it?
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I would just buy the phone in HK on your next trip there as the simplest option.

    Phones purchased in HK work very well in China and you can get base Android in English.

    Whats worse having Facebook track your every move or a government?
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    There is a way to install Google Play on a Chinese phone - you need to install a small driver though which, although a bit technical, isn't difficult. If you have access to Google on another device - eg your school laptop - do a Google search for downloading Google Play. I did it and it worked fine (sorry I don't have the link any more!)

    Alternatively, return it and go to Hong Kong for Golden Week next week!
  13. seendee

    seendee New commenter

    I have bought the phone, and sadly it cannot be returned as I had activated it. :( Otherwise I can buy it from HK.

    It does not have to be google play, I only need whatsapp, Fb and Instagram and a few of dictionary apps.

    I heard someone said to change the OS...which I do not have any knowledge about it.
    Really hope there is a way for this.
  14. seendee

    seendee New commenter

    If anyone has experience or heard about someone with the same case?
  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    If your school has an IT technical wizard ask their advice. They might have a contract in malls that can root your mobile, its not an uncommon procedure. One of the many repair stalls should be able to do the job but you will need to take a chinese speaking friend with you.
    rouxx likes this.
  16. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    There’s always some 14 yr old techie in a mall somewhere in China who can sort anything. Well, maybe they’re older than 14 but they look about that.

    Seriously @february31st advice is probably your best bet.

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