Does Zoom or Join-me work across the Great Firewall?
March 28, 2020 10:04 PM   Subscribe

I have a client in mainland China I want to present to (from NZ) - it will just be me showing them my desktop. I normally use zoom and have used, mikogo and screenleap in the past - I ditched the latter two as they don't load their software on .nz servers and they're very laggy, and Join-me is twice price of Zoom. Screenhero was great until it was gobbled by Slack.

If zoom works for desktop share we will either use zoom's voip or talk over the phone.

Screenleap was great as there was no download for the client end.

My client is familiar with whatsapp (which will not run on my android) and wechat seems to be blocked from outside China.

All I want to know is does either zoom or joinme work across the Great Firewall. If they don't do you know of something that would?
posted by unearthed to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
(I live in China)

WeChat works outside of China, it can just be hard to get an generally need someone from inside China to verify you. WeChat doesn't have screenshare, though.

I am friends with multiple Chinese teachers (in China) who have classes with students outside of China and they all use zoom (and like it a lot). So it should work. Caveat: for some reason, I personally haven't been able to get it to work, but I think it'd be worth giving it a shot. My teacher friends like it a lot and make extensive us of screen sharing etc.
posted by wooh at 10:13 PM on March 28, 2020

Zoom usually works. I have a student in China who I zoom with from Australia most weeks. For a couple of months last year it stopped working but it's usually fine.
posted by lollusc at 11:47 PM on March 28, 2020

We use BlueJeans at work. Zoom is definitely superior, but it's worth a try if Zoom doesn't work. However, I believe our Chinese colleagues do have access to Google Docs, which I understand generally isn't available in China, so even though they have separate IT infrastructure from the rest of the company, they may be routinely connecting to an outside-of-China VPN.

Like wooh said, it's possible to create a WeChat account outside of China, but, at a minimum, you need to find someone with an existing account to scan a QR code, and sometimes you may need that person to have a Chinese bank account linked to their account. (Some people at work made a WeChat social group and it was a performance to get accounts for people who didn't already have one. Some were pretty easy, for others they were hunting for someone whose account had specific properties.)
posted by hoyland at 3:37 AM on March 29, 2020

Thanks so much wooh, lollusc and hoyland, two out of three is definitive enough for me, and it's good to know of other tools that work across the Wall.
posted by unearthed at 12:20 PM on March 29, 2020

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