Which is the Best Chinese Alternative to YouTube in 2023?

by Tim Howard

In China, YouTube is not accessible due to government restrictions. However, there are several popular video-sharing platforms that serve as alternatives to YouTube in the Chinese market. 

The best Chinese alternative to YouTube is Youku Tudou which is one of the largest video sharing platforms in the country.

It offers a wide range of user-generated and professionally produced content and allows you to easily follow and subscribe to video feeds from your favorite creators or TV shows. 

You can either choose to view content for free, but with ads, or you can choose to purchase a VIP subscription for 12 yuan and enjoy ad-free content every month.

Apart from Youku Tudou, there are other platforms that are pretty good alternatives to YouTube such as Tencent video, Bilibili, Sohu Video and iQiyi among others.

Youku TudouOne of the largest video-sharing platforms in China, offering a wide range of user-generated and professionally produced content.
Tencent VideoOperated by Tencent, Tencent Video features a vast collection of licensed TV shows, movies, and user-generated content.
iQiyiSpecializes in professionally produced TV dramas, movies, and variety shows, offering both free and premium content.
BilibiliInitially focused on anime, Bilibili has expanded to cover a broad range of topics, including gaming, technology, and lifestyle.
Sina WeiboA social media platform often referred to as “China’s Twitter,” allowing users to share videos alongside microblogging and trending topics.
Xigua VideoOperated by ByteDance, Xigua Video offers a mix of short videos, TV shows, and movies, with personalized recommendations based on user interests.
Sohu VideoCombines licensed and user-generated content, featuring TV dramas, movies, variety shows, and live streaming options.

Read on as I talk to you about the best Chinese alternative to YouTube and learn why YouTube was blocked in China in the first place.

Best Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Youku Tudou – Best Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Chinese Alternative to YouTube

After YouTube was banned in China in 2009, Youku stepped up to fill the void, becoming the country’s primary video-sharing platform. 

In a strategic move, Youku merged with Tudou in 2012, solidifying its position as the largest video hosting and sharing site in China. 

What initially started as a platform for user-generated content has transformed into a treasure trove of professionally produced videos sourced from prominent television and film companies. 

Whether I’m in the mood for a captivating movie series or a thought-provoking sports documentary, Youku delivers an impressive range of content to suit my every whim.

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Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Similar to YouTube, Youku incorporates various features that enhance the user experience. 

The platform features channels, akin to YouTube’s playlists, allowing users to easily follow and subscribe to video feeds from their favorite creators or TV shows. 

While Youku offers free access to its video library, it also provides a VIP membership option. VIP membership grants users access to premium content, including exclusive TV series and movies, while eliminating advertisements. 

The monthly subscription price for VIP membership is 12 yuan which is pretty decent in my opinion.

  • Launched: 2006
  • Headquarter: Beijing, China

Tencent Video

Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Next up is Tencent Video which is an integral part of Tencent’s digital ecosystem. This platform stands tall as a true reflection of China’s video landscape. 

With an extensive collection of licensed TV shows, movies, and user-generated content, Tencent Video delivers an immersive viewing experience. 

As I explored the platform, I couldn’t help but marvel at the seamless integration of social features, community engagement, and the sheer depth of content available.

  • Launched: 2011
  • Headquarter: Shenzhen, China


Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Taking things a step further with iQiyi, a pioneer in premium content streaming. This platform caters to the discerning viewer, showcasing a wide array of professionally produced TV dramas, movies, and variety shows. 

From gripping historical epics to heartwarming romantic comedies, iQiyi’s commitment to delivering high-quality entertainment shines through. 

As I indulged in its vast library, I realized that iQiyi has firmly established itself as the go-to platform for those seeking immersive storytelling experiences.

  • Launched: 2010
  • Headquarter: Beijing, China


Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Bilibili is an intriguing video-sharing platform rooted in the vibrant world of Chinese subcultures. 

Initially focused on anime, Bilibili has evolved into a hub of creativity, encompassing a diverse range of topics such as gaming, technology, and lifestyle. 

Its strong community fosters an environment where users can showcase their talents and passions, making it a captivating space that embodies the spirit of youthful expression.

  • Launched: 2009
  • Headquarter: Shanghai, China

Sina Weibo

Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Sina Weibo, often hailed as “China’s Twitter.” is a platform that’s a fascinating blend of microblogging and video-sharing. 

Sina Weibo serves as a social tapestry woven with videos, offering users a platform to share their lives, discoveries, and thought-provoking moments. 

It has become a hotbed for trending topics, celebrity news, and viral videos, captivating millions with its amalgamation of short-form content and social interactions.

  • Launched: 2009
  • Headquarter: Beijing, China

Xigua Video

Chinese Alternative to YouTube

In the realm of Chinese video-sharing platforms, Xigua Video emerges as a gem in the digital landscape. 

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Created by ByteDance, the same company behind Douyin, Xigua Video offers a captivating blend of short videos, TV shows, and movies. With its cutting-edge recommendation system, Xigua Video curates an immersive entertainment experience that caters to each user’s preferences. 

It seamlessly combines the best of both worlds, presenting a diverse range of content in a personalized and engaging manner.

  • Launched: 2016
  • Headquarter: Beijing, China

Sohu Video

Chinese Alternative to YouTube

Finally, another great Chinese alternatives to YouTube is Sohu Video where licensed and user-generated content coexist in perfect harmony. 

Sohu Video offers an eclectic mix of TV dramas, movies, and variety shows, providing a captivating viewing experience for users seeking both professionally produced content and the creative endeavors of fellow enthusiasts. 

Its live streaming options add an element of excitement, allowing users to engage with real-time events and connect with like-minded individuals.

  • Launched: 1996
  • Headquarter: Beijing, China

Why is YouTube Banned in China?

YouTube is banned in China due to the country’s strict internet censorship policies. 

The Chinese government maintains a robust system of internet controls, often referred to as the Great Firewall of China, which regulates and restricts access to foreign websites and platforms. 

YouTube, being a globally popular video-sharing platform, provides an open platform for user-generated content, including videos that may touch upon sensitive topics or challenge the government’s narratives.

The Chinese government heavily regulates and monitors online content to maintain control over information flow and prevent the spread of content it deems undesirable or politically sensitive. 

As YouTube allows users to freely upload and share videos, including those that may contain politically sensitive material or views contrary to the government’s agenda, it does not comply with the Chinese government’s strict content regulations.

By blocking YouTube, the Chinese government aims to control the narrative, limit access to foreign information sources, and promote platforms that align with its censorship guidelines and priorities. 

Instead of YouTube, Chinese internet users rely on domestic video-sharing platforms that adhere to the government’s regulations and are subject to censorship and content monitoring. 

This censorship extends to other popular foreign platforms, such as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are also inaccessible in China.

How to Access YouTube in China?

Accessing YouTube safely in China can be challenging due to the country’s internet censorship policies and the blocking of the platform. 

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However, if you wish to access YouTube while in China, you can try the following steps to do so while prioritizing your online safety and privacy:

Step 1 – Obtain a reliable and reputable VPN service before traveling to China. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a server located outside of China, allowing you to bypass censorship and access blocked websites, including YouTube. Choose a VPN with strong security protocols and servers in locations that are not subject to Chinese restrictions.

Step 2 – Download and install the VPN software or app on your device(s) before entering China. Follow the instructions provided by the VPN provider to set up and configure the VPN properly. Make sure to choose servers located in countries where YouTube is accessible.

Step 3 – Launch the VPN application or software and connect to a server outside of China. This will mask your IP address and make it appear as if you are browsing the internet from a different location, thus bypassing Chinese censorship and restrictions.

Step 4 – Once connected to the VPN server, open your preferred web browser or YouTube app and navigate to the YouTube website. You should now be able to access and browse YouTube as if you were in a country where it is not blocked.

Step 5 – While using a VPN, it’s crucial to prioritize your online security and privacy. Choose a VPN with strong encryption protocols and a strict no-logs policy to protect your personal information. Additionally, regularly update your VPN software to benefit from the latest security enhancements and patches.

While accessing YouTube through a VPN can help bypass censorship, it’s important to remember that the Chinese government strictly monitors internet usage. Exercise caution and refrain from engaging in any activities that may violate local laws or regulations.

Before relying on YouTube for important tasks or streaming, ensure that your VPN connection is stable and YouTube is accessible. Some VPNs may experience occasional disruptions or slower speeds, so it’s advisable to test the connectivity in advance.

Remember, circumventing Chinese internet censorship carries potential risks, and the Chinese government actively blocks VPN services as well. 

It’s essential that you stay updated on the current situation and be prepared for potential disruptions in access. 

Exercise caution, prioritize your online privacy and security, and use these steps as a general guideline while respecting local laws and regulations.


In conclusion, exploring the best Chinese alternatives to YouTube opens up a world of captivating video content, catering to the diverse preferences of Chinese audiences. 

Platforms like Youku Tudou, Tencent Video, iQiyi, and Bilibili have emerged as powerhouses in the Chinese video landscape, offering a vast array of user-generated and professionally produced content. 

These platforms have successfully filled the void left by YouTube’s absence in China, providing engaging entertainment, informative documentaries, and immersive storytelling experiences.

So, whether you’re a local resident or a curious traveler, immerse yourself in the best Chinese alternatives to YouTube and unlock a world of captivating video content right at your fingertips.


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