I'm going to China soon, so I want to know whether the Stack Exchange Network is being blocked in China.

A lot of useful and great websites are blocked in China, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and even Wikipedia. So I wonder if SE is also blocked.

I think it isn't, because it doesn't really contain sensitive information (I guess). However, my SE account is linked with my Google account, and Google is blocked in China! So would I not be able to log in to my account in China? If I can't, are there other alternatives?


2 Answers 2


Basic network connectivity from China seems active.

Using this nice “Website Test behind the Great Firewall of China” tool, it seems that—at least this Meta site—is not blocked:

Screenshot of “Website Test behind the Great Firewall of China” results.

Just note—and I know this from personal security experience—some sites in the U.S. simply block all Chinese traffic due to insane levels of bot-net and scanner traffic. So if you are concerned about connectivity from China it might be best if you invest in a VPN account for whatever span of time you are there. Heck, maybe a VPN is the best way to solve this issue since your connection won’t be via a Chinese network anyway via a VPN.

Create a non-Google/non-Facebook login if you are concerned about Google and Facebook being blocked.

That said, the login concern is a valid concern. But you can easily solve that by creating additional login methods from your user profile page under “My Logins”:

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  • 4
    You can expect login problems with any login provider - it's not just limited to Facebook and Google. We get reports that even our in-house OpenID sometimes gets blocked for Chinese users. Also keep in mind that the jQuery file we use, as well as the reCaptcha system, are hosted by Google and may not work when accessed from China, which will severely cripple usability (you'll basically only be able to view the site). The only way to use the site fully is with a VPN.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 18:44

There are many websites that claim to check that for us:

All of the above said that Stack Overflow is up.

Also note that there is an important distinction between HTTP and HTTPS:

  • HTTP is not encrypted, so the Chinese government may be able to block only certain pages depending on what they contain.
  • HTTPS is encrypted, so they don't know what page you are accessing. So they either block the entire domain, or nothing.

It has however been brought to by attention by the 996.ICU event that Chinese browsers can of course block specific pages within HTTPS websites, but I haven't found a website that reliably tracks this form of censorship.

Also, as mentioned at: https://meta.stackoverflow.com/a/360242/895245 , Stack Overflow appears to depend on assets from sources that are blocked in China, leading to certain aspects of the website being broken:

  • Google AJAX Library (which if not available, apparently breaks all AJAX calls)
  • Imgur for images

I am trying to block Stack Overflow / force the end of censorship with anti-communist messages on my username: https://web.archive.org/web/20150415194412/https://stackoverflow.com/users/895245/ciro-santilli-六四事件-法轮功?tab=profile however I have not found any evidence that this has had any effect on HTTPS.

Related: Is Stack Overflow accessible in China?

  • 1
    Some Stack Exchange JavaScript is stored on Google, so you can't create a Stack Exchange account in China, you can't vote on posts, and multiple other features are broken. Also, imgur is blocked so you don't see most of the pictures in the posts.
    – Cœur
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 16:52
  • @Cœur thanks, related things have been mentioned at: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/267715/… BTW. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 17:03

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