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How to follow the US presidential election results from inside mainland China (without a VPN)

People watch a direct broadcast of the first U.S. presidential debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a cafe in Beijing
Reuters/Damir Sagolj
  • Zheping Huang
By Zheping Huang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.


As the 2016 US presidential race comes to a close, there’s no escape for most people around the world. They’ll be following the election results on TV and online, whether they want to or not. But things are a bit more challenging for audiences physically inside mainland China: Beijing blocks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many foreign news sites, and Chinese news publications are usually banned from live-stream election coverage.

The election results will start to roll in at around 7am Beijing time on Wednesday (Nov. 9), and US networks will call the election before all the votes are counted, sometime over the next few hours. You are likely to hear concession and victory speeches at around noon (unless, of course, Donald Trump refuses to concede, which is possible).

Here’s a guide of how to follow the election results from mainland China, if you don’t have a VPN to get around the censors.

News sites

Almost all major US news sites will live stream the election results. But your options are limited thanks to the Great Firewall. Quartz tested if they are blocked in different locations in mainland China. Here’s a list of those that are accessible, at least right now, and have rarely been blocked in the past:

Also, you can follow Quartz’ live blog.

Social media

Forget about Twitter and Facebook. Check the following handles on social media platforms for Chinese-language updates on the election results:

  • Konger Tongchuanjun: This is a translation and politics enthusiast on Weibo. Whoever is behind it has translated past US presidential debates, and promises to regularly update the election results on Wednesday.
  • Thomas Shang: Another US politics enthusiast who says he’ll live stream the election results on the Podcast-esque Mixlr.


There are a handful of places you can go to watch the election results in Beijing and Shanghai including several bars and bookstores. Democrats Abroad also hosts some events in smaller Chinese cities, including at The Bookworm in Chengdu and The Londoner in Xiamen.

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