Life without YouTube in the PRC

So you may have heard that YouTube is blocked in the PRC. Those of us who live here have come to depend on YouTube for little 2-minute clips of entertainment which keep us smiling throughout the workday. So now what do we do?

Well, I was all set to recommend Divx’s Stage6 as a substitute. It worked on Friday. I’ve been getting into it because it has such superior video quality and also hosts long videos. However, as of yesterday, it, too seems to be blocked. I turned to a TechCrunch article on YouTube alternatives and found that many of them are not loading for me. Here are my results (Oct. 21, 10pm in Shanghai).

Accessible Video Sites

Yahoo! Video
ifilm Spike
eyeVio (Japanese)

Inaccessible Video Sites

Google Video (has never worked in the PRC; not a block)

Of course, if you want Chinese video, those sites still work. Tudou is #1, but I prefer Youku (Danwei lists more choices).


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Wonder if the block will end once the Congress ends.

  2. Matthew Stinson Says: October 22, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Stage6 loads for me, only really really really slowly. Perhaps it’s getting too much traffic from China now?

    By-the-way, since Feedburner is blocked now, is there any way you could change the “Newest Entries” RSS clips on the front page of Sinosplice to use your blog’s built-in WordPress RSS instead of a Feedburner feed? It’s not a big issue, mind you, just a minor annoyance.

  3. Stage6 also works for me, but like the other comment, very slowly.

    I’ve been finding full episodes of all the American shows I watch on tudou no problem, though, which at least is keeping me sane. 🙂

  4. That’s weird. I’m here in Taiwan province and everything seems to be working just fine.

  5. Is there no technical workaround to get Youtube working again?

  6. Using a VPN like will allow you to access these sites.

  7. Matthew Stinson Says: October 23, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    HR, are you making a joke? 😉

    Any luck getting Stage6 to work for you, John?

  8. Matthew,

    Actually, as of tonight, Stage6 is working for me again. So maybe it wasn’t blocked after all.

  9. Voice of America recently began putting Mandarin video content on Youtube–perhaps a reason for the block?

  10. Hi John,

    I suspect that Youtube was blocked probably because Dalai Lama was awarded a US Congressional Gold Medal on October 17. I cannot access Youtube since October 17(US time). I also had a trouble searching on Yahoo, except for Yahoo China, on the same day. Youtube, come back!

  11. I don’t think that Youtube will be resurrected in China in the near future, because so many “unfavorable” video clips for CCP are being uploaded there. Actually, I have been wondering why Chinese authority didn’t block the “dangerous website” until now. They should have done that much earlier.

  12. For such a long time has youtube been inaccessible, that I am increasingly wondering what’s wrong with it. Strangely enough, many links to the related information of its being blocked are also inaccessible. Nice seeing your blog. It seems that I’ve found what i’d like to be confrimed here: China banned it. Isn’t it rather typical..Thx

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