What's the best way to tweet from China?
February 21, 2013 10:56 AM   Subscribe

A team from our office is heading over to a number of China cities and they want to be active on social media the whole time to promote it. But given that China blocks twitter and Facebook, I need some workarounds. Is there a client like Hootsuite or tweet deck or buffer that ISN'T blocked? And what are my other options? Does instagram work? What about Linkedin?
posted by rileyray3000 to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend that lives in China that is on Facebook.....my 12 yr old daughter is staying with her for the next 3 weeks. Their internet is kind of spotty but they have fb. We even face timed this morning....
posted by pearlybob at 11:04 AM on February 21, 2013

When I travel to China I use my company's VPN to get onto any blocked sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Does your team have access to a VPN?
posted by blurker at 11:22 AM on February 21, 2013

The best option is a VPN. If your company doesn't already have one, a subscription to Astrill or something similar would work.

I moved back to the US from China a couple of months ago, so my information may be a little dated, but I don't believe instagram and linkedin are blocked.
posted by bradf at 11:45 AM on February 21, 2013

I used tweetymail.com to tweet from my workplace where it was blocked.
You type the tweet into the subject line of an email and fire it off to a certain email address and voila, tweet.
No idea if it works from China though.
posted by wats at 1:42 PM on February 21, 2013

Depending on the length of the trip and type of social media admin they need to be able to do: Take a phone with international roaming turned on. All websites will work as usual because you're going through ATT/whoever servers and not through the firewall at all. I updated facebook and twitter and watched netflix while travelling in china this way (Netflix working shows that geolocation blocks are defeated because again, your traffic is coming from ATT servers as far as they can tell).

Obviously this can get pretty expensive, so setting up a vpn may be cheaper, but is likely to be more effort.
posted by jacalata at 1:51 PM on February 21, 2013

I used a VPN for the 2 years I worked in China. I used Witopia since they had great customer service.

Linkedin is not blocked - I have several Chinese colleagues who contact me through it.
posted by xmts at 1:59 PM on February 21, 2013

With the changeover in political leadership, some VPN services had been blocked. VPN companies tried to keep up and I think most of them are okay now, but I don't personally know as I'm not yet in China. The question of what VPN is best comes up a lot on /r/china.
posted by sarae at 4:04 PM on February 21, 2013

As a backup, perhaps you can also have someone back at the office who can help tweet. Have the team send private email to this person if the team is blocked from tweeting. Private emails, I suppose, are typically not blocked.
posted by applesurf at 5:11 PM on February 21, 2013

VPN is your best bet. I used Witopia when I lived in China.
posted by arcticseal at 5:48 PM on February 21, 2013

Can they do international SMS? You can SMS tweets. Is that also blocked?
posted by ctmf at 9:32 PM on February 21, 2013

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