ChinesePod blocked in China
A nightmare situation has happened. Our site is blocked in China. We are working hard to determine the cause but with the current holiday, it might take a few days to get to the bottom of the problem and see what we need to do to get the site back for users in China. In the meantime, could I trouble users in China to use a proxy if possible? Our sincere apologies. Thank you for your support!
kong_yiOctober 03, 2011, 05:26 AM
I couldn't get on Chinesepod without using my vpn and I live in sichuan.
I usually use a vpn anyway for chinesepod because the skritter lite app doesn't run very well without it.
I hope it gets unblocked soon :)
jennyzhuOctober 03, 2011, 02:49 PM
We are very sorry about the disruption which has caught us by surprise.
We have tested and confirmed that by switching to Google public DNS on your computer, you can visit our site in China without a VPN. We are still trying to determine whether this is a problem with China Telecom's DNS server or we are being blocked by China. Both are possible. (The curveball is when you are blocked in China, the authorities would not tell you. They just keep disrupting your service.) While we work hard to determine the exact cause so that we can work towards a solution, we'd truly appreciate it if you could use a proxy or change DNS. (Using Google public DNS will make visiting foreign sites in general smoother.)
Here is instruction from Google on changing DNS:
DNS settings are specified in the TCP/IP Properties window for the selected network connection.
Example: Changing DNS server settings on Microsoft Windows 7
- Go the Control Panel.
- Click Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center, and click Change adapter settings.
- Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
- To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click Local Area Connection, and click Properties.
- To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click Wireless Network Connection, and click Properties.
- Select the Networking tab. Under This connection uses the following items, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then click Properties.
- Click Advanced and select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed there, write them down for future reference, and remove them from this window.
- Click OK.
- Select Use the following DNS server addresses. If there are any IP addresses listed in the Preferred DNS server or Alternate DNS server, write them down for future reference.
- Replace those addresses with the IP addresses of the Google DNS servers:
- For IPv4: 188.8.131.52 and/or 184.108.40.206.
- For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
Mac OS X
DNS settings are specified in the Network window.
Example: Changing DNS server settings on Mac OS 10.5
- From the Apple menu, click System Preferences, then click Network.
- If the lock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window is locked, click the icon to make changes, and when prompted to authenticate, enter your password.
- Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
- To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-In Ethernet, and click Advanced.
- To change the settings for a wireless connection, select Airport, and click Advanced.
- Select the DNS tab.
- Click + to replace any listed addresses with, or add, the Google IP addresses at the top of the list:
- For IPv4: 220.127.116.11 and/or 18.104.22.168.
- For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
- Click Apply and OK.
babyeggplantOctober 04, 2011, 01:29 AM
Site is loading for me without a VPN today in Shanghai (but wasn't working the past few days). However, the downloads have been incredibly slow (or not downloading at all today) for me the past 2 or 3 weeks. It now takes me over an hour to download one mp3 where as it used to take less than a minute. I have tried multiple computers/browers/ect and keep having the same problem. Thankfully I can still use the VPN to download at a faster rate, but I don't always have access to it. All this makes me wonder if it's really an issue with the server rather than being blocked.
caesar83October 04, 2011, 06:38 AM
I am also in Sichuan and I can browse through Chinesepod, but cannot download or stream any media content, neither in my computer nor Iphone app.
I also tried to change the DNS as instructed by Jenny and still cannot download.
Does anybody have the samo problem? Might it be related with China blocking it?
skibOctober 06, 2011, 10:25 AM
Website is totally blocked here in Jining, Shandong. Using VPN right now...
aisiniOctober 07, 2011, 01:23 AM
I cannot acces the website from my Windows PC which uses Google Chrome.
But I can access it from my Apple Mac which uses Safari.
I'm in Qingdao.
skibOctober 13, 2011, 05:23 PM
Chinesepod.com is blocked for about a day every few weeks recently. Perhaps it isn't the job of Chinesepod to refund me for time lost, but I'm much less likely to subscribe to a service I'm not sure I'll recieve.
Recently, the two VPNs I use have also been blocked. Maybe this is a Jining, Shandong problem. I don't know.
We really want to improve the experience for our China users. After all, we are running this business out of China. We are looking into the option of hosting a mirror site in China, on a .cn domain.
There are unfortunately a whole host (pun only somewhat intended) of reasons why an internationally-focused internet company (even one with a lot of Chinese customers) wouldn't want to host their site in China, from regulatory issues on down.
A cn version would be great. download speeds through your site have been crazy slow, especially the lesson mp3's. Seems like the lesson files are hosted at amazonaws. It would be nice if they were hosted in China instead. At least have the lesson content hosted with a mirror in China. The main site is slow but ok. I'm sure the Chinese market is important to Chinesepod.
user39422October 15, 2011, 11:01 AM
I'm in Dalian, and have been unable to download any of the lessons in the past few weeks. I have raised this issue through this site, but the responses from your IT team have been less than satisfactory and the issue is not resolved as of now. VPN that the IT team suggested didn't work and the solution suggested above didn't work, either. If this site is blocked in Dalian, then, does that mean that there is nothing I can do? Please help ASAP. Thank you.
Im also having the same problems in Dalian. The changing of DNS as above hasnt worked. Unfortunately the university blocks any other VPNs so this is not a solution for me either. Please let me know of any updates. I have been finding these lessons so helpful and would love to continue with them! Thanks
ma_taiOctober 16, 2011, 11:16 AM
So, what's up today? I used to be in China, but right now I am Australia, and I can't access the lesson feed page or download through Itunes.
Have any of the links been changed?
I can access the site, but when I click on my feed it says the page does not exist.
To fix this issue, you must log out and log back in again, and then get the feed address from your Dashboard (it will be different than your old one).
If you're using iTunes, you will need to change the address that your subscription is pointing toward.
Mo4li3xiang2October 16, 2011, 01:15 PM
In Taiwan, and having to use a vpn, that's weird. Tried today to access the site to no avail, now using a vpn and can access the site, what's the problem? I've never had to use a vpn in taiwan before, for anything.
When you say you can't access the site, do you mean you can't even log-in without a VPN, or are you having trouble downloading content?
There was some down-time on the site last night, which might explain the problem. Are you still having issues?
still using vpn today, I usually just open Safari and it's there shining pretty at me but at the moment it just a white block, and then when I try to access it w/o the vpn nothing happens.
I am getting the same blank (white) page in Taiwan also. It's very strange, as it seems to happen if you have cpod saved as a home page. I have http://chinesepod.com/community/conversations setup as a homepage and when Firefox opens, it just goes to a blank white page. But if I copy that same url and paste it into a new page, it opens properly. Now that is weird....who can figure that one out?
Anyway, I'm pretty sure you don't need a VPN in Taiwan (still a democracy here ;-), so just try the above to see if that works.
my avatar is gone to, oh, not too worry all seems back to normal. Initially, I did try reloading the page and tried it on mozilla as well, but it was out. Now although it's just white and doesn't load, if I reload it there seems to be no prob. On another note perhaps the chinese government stole your avatar because you said it wasn't a democracy.
xiaophilOctober 17, 2011, 12:17 AM
Yesterday I couldn't logon to ChinesePod and I'm in America. Any other site worked just fine. Perhaps you guys were tinkering?
zorro8998October 18, 2011, 05:30 AM
The main problem in China is that http://aws.amazon.com/ (where the files are hosted) is really slow. Maybe it's similar to how google.com is very slow in China. It could be deliberate .
I guess the only fix to this is to change hosting. I'm sure the Chinese market is very important to you. No one will subscribe to your service in China with such a problem.
tubaoziOctober 18, 2011, 07:56 AM
I have just changed DSN setting but it has not made any difference. I only renewed my subscription to Chinese pod yesterday. As I had not used Chinese pod for a month I was not aware of the problem in China. Chinese pod need to put a clause in to subscribers to let them know of this problem. I certainly would not have taken up another subscription with this problem unresolved and will seek a refund if there is not a quick resolution as the site is of little use at present.
alotofitthereOctober 19, 2011, 12:31 AM
wow, what a terrible situation. Why in the world would CHINESEpod be blocked in CHINA???????
So, fortunately I still have service but in the event that this problem gets worse how do I get my money back?
Thanks for any help. Good luck solving your problems... whatever they are.
alotofitthereOctober 19, 2011, 12:44 AM
maybe you have to check to see if you pressed caps lock by mistake....?
Jenny, it seems as though you stopped responding to this issue. It's been two weeks. Any suggestions or clarifications for us?
Thanks for any insight into the situation!
jcheinbockelOctober 19, 2011, 02:25 AM
Right now, the situation is unfortunately unchanged. Users across China are still having issues with downloads.
We've been working hard to get this straightened out, and will begin using a different media host (hopefully) by the end of next week. At the same time, we're looking into a few other options as back-ups.
We're all keeping our fingers crossed that everything will be back to normal soon.
jennyzhuOctober 19, 2011, 03:19 AM
I will add to jc's comment by saying we are preparing to switch from amazon s3 to amazon cloud server, which will speed up connection and download speed for users in China and around the world. Although like most tech thngs in China, there is no guarantee but after careful evaluation, we think this is the best solution to the problem. Some Poddies suggest hosting in China, this is something we'd like to do and been strongly advised not to because of the potential risks involved. I don't want to get into them here, but trust me if we could, we would. I know this has been a very frustrating experience lately, and I sincerely apologize for it! We will keep you updated on the development. Lastly, thank you very much for your patience!
For all you guys who are worried about getting off pace re: learning dont worry while c-pod is figuring this all out you should stay on schedule other ways...there are lots of great resources out there. I'm guessing Chinese pod will most likely extend subscriptions to those affected when this is over anyway and we will all have a good laugh about it over drinks someday "hey, remember when chinesepod was blocked in China?" and you'll be like "oh my god, wasn't that crazy?"
Here's to that day...eh fellow poddies....
Hey how about we think of a new nickname for ourselves while we are waiting.... Podsters anyone??
Great, it's decided.... Podsters.....
lotusl888October 19, 2011, 03:59 AM
Hi - I'm in the U.S. and am having problems with iTunes. New lessons are not being downloaded. Would this be explained by the blocking? I can listen to lessons on CP website. Last lesson downloaded to iTunes was on 10/9. Thx!
The RSS system has had some trouble over the past few days, but everything is resolved now. You should log out and log back in, then refresh your RSS feed settings.
Let us know if that works. Thanks!
This sounds good news. How do you reset RSS settings? I have followed some online advice but it does not seem to have improved the situation. Could you give some step by step pointers please. In Mozilla which I use there was no refresh option that I saw.
iTunes has a button for refreshing feeds. I'm not as familiar with other clients. If you're using Firefox or one of the Mozilla news readers, I think you'll want to actually just resubscribe.
In your dashboard, there is a small cog icon. Clicking on it brings you to your subscription settings, where you can copy your RSS feed address. Paste it into whatever client you use to receive feeds.
The most important step is the "log out/log in" step. It's the tech equivalent of giving your old TV a quick smack.
I hope this helps!
This is admittedly tricky stuff, so don't get too down on yourself.
Dominic is correct: You'll paste the feed in "Advanced -> Subscribe to Podcast."
Thanks for the help Dominic!
chrisOctober 19, 2011, 02:33 PM
Internet connection speeds have been atrocious in SH for last couple of weeks, in particular trying to download PDFs/videos/etc from any sites hosted outside of China. It took me about 2 hours to download only a 1mb PDF of a company's annual report today from the office (usually would be a few seconds). My point is that I don't think this is a CPOD-specific issue.
instantcalmerOctober 21, 2011, 02:00 AM
Growl, grumble, aiya
Since I moved from Nantong Vocational College in Jiangsu to a Nantong High School, Chinesepod has not been working properly. I thought it was the new location but now I see that on October 2-3 you started having trouble in general. By dogged persistance I have been able to download new lessons sometimes at 1,30am. This makes me think you are not totally blocked by being put thru the thin (surveillance or difficulty) pipe. Mafan - fans si le.
Incidentally www.blockedinchina.net says you are not blocked
The net result is that I have not been able to use your web-site for over 2 weeks
As Jenny said - sometimes I wonder why we live in China
joschkaOctober 21, 2011, 03:29 AM
Over here in Taipei, downloads from Chinesepod are every bit as fast as normal.
If the problem was in Shanghai, I'd expect to see the trouble here too.
Very strange indeed; especially since there are reports that Chinesepod is sponsored by the PRC Government.
tayeOctober 21, 2011, 01:21 PM
Hello from Xiamen :) Still having a lot of trouble here downloading lessons as a podcast in iTunes: slow or non-existent progress. But if I switch on my OpenVPN, which thinks I'm in London, it races through the downloads.
zorro8998October 22, 2011, 05:53 AM
I see the new host is up. From Beijing the speed is very fast. My connection 2mb and my transfer is 210 kB/sec. Your lessons are downloading fine now. thanks for fixing this.
Glad to hear it's working for you. We've only switched the full lesson downloads over for now to make sure it is working before making the full switch, but it does seem to be so we will likely be switching all of our media over to CloudFront next week.
As far as you know are download speeds okay in America? I have been a non-paid subscriber for a while, but have been wanting to change that. However I would rather wait for when there isn't major tech problems if possible.
emilyvgOctober 25, 2011, 02:27 PM
yay its working!! very happily downloading my next lesson set here in Dalian. thanks!
user39422October 29, 2011, 09:25 AM
Hi, I'm in Dalian, and it's still not working. I can't download anything.
I used your account to test. The downloads and streaming are both fast. We switched to Amazon cloud server to speed up download for all users. For the past week, our own experience and users' feedback has been the media files are fast to download.
Which OS and browser are you using? Do you have the problem chronically or just sporadically?
Hello, I'm in Shenzhen and I'm not able to stream the audio of any lesson when I'm not using a VPN (same thing in my android mobile). I have windows 7 and I've tried using Chrome and IE.
skibNovember 03, 2011, 05:03 AM
Chinesepod is usually blocked here in Shandong. Some days (like today) I can get to it. The app in my phone also can't download audio lessons.
Is there anyway to suspend my account, or get a refund? I paid quite a bit of money for a 6 month subscription, but haven't been able to use it.
Every VPN I used has also been blocked.
I e-mailed customer service but got no response.
On Oct 12 I e-mailed the address "email@example.com" with the subject line: "Chinesepod blocked in Jining, Shandong 济宁山东 suspend account or refund?"
ATM I can access Chinesepod fine, but it's erratic...
dominic124April 18, 2012, 02:44 AM
Chinesepod still seems blocked in China. Any update on this? Is this going to be permanent? Very inconvenient if you're based here.
We are not blocked. From various feedback and our own experience, China's internet infrastructure and policy might cause problem in accessing audio files from time to time. This unfortunately is beyond our control.
Dominic, you may have tried this already, but if not I would suggest you log-out of Chinesepod, close all open internet browsers and then reopen and log-in afresh from the Chinesepod home screen. I had been having several months of severe audio issues recently (based in SH), but as soon as I did the above, everything has been fine. I don't think I had logged out and logged in again for over 3 years since I first got my current laptop! Hope this helps.