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How to watch the first US presidential debate from inside mainland China

presidential debate 2016 donald trump hillary clinton
Left: AP/Carolyn Kaster. Right: AP/Wilfredo Lee
No pressure.
  • Zheping Huang
By Zheping Huang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.


If you’re outside of mainland China and want to watch the first US presidential debate on Sept. 26, see Quartz’s guide for ways to do so online and on TV. If you’re in mainland China and don’t have a VPN to get around the censors, this post is for you.

While the state-run tabloid Global Times claimed that the Chinese public will be able to watch the debate between “evil” Hillary Clinton and “unclear” Donald Trump, most Chinese people won’t actually have the privilege to do so if they tune in with mainstream Chinese media. The state broadcasters will not live-broadcast the event, though there will no doubt be a brief mention of it in news bulletins. China blocks Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where the non-US audience will mostly likely watch the debate.

That limits your options to news sites that will stream the debate—and that are not blocked by the Great Firewall. Surprisingly there are a handful. Quartz put them to the test in different locations in mainland China. Here’s a list of those that should work:

Also, if you want a Chinese-language version, check the handle “Konger Tongchuanjun“ (registration required) on the social media platform Sina Weibo. Whoever is behind it has translated past debates, including from the GOP primaries, and will likely do so for this one as well.

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