Chinese residents 'want Google and YouTube most', says survey

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Research by a VPN service has shown that what most Chinese citizens want in trying to circumvent the 'great firewall' is to access search engine Google.

Using Baidu, its local equivalent, they effectively "google" how to access Google most often.

The research by NordVPN shows that when looking for VPN services on Baidu, Chinese searchers are looking for Google access with 40.35 per cent of all VPN service-related searches having to do with Google.

China's long history of internet censorship has seen its own tools introduced to replace global services such as Google and Facebook. But while the Chinese government has "shielded" citizens from the external world with 'the great firewall', VPN services have become among the most popular tools to circumvent it.

YouTube comes second on the list, accounting for 31.58 per cent of all searches, with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sharing the rest of the interest of Chinese citizens - each site accounts for roughly eight per cent of search queries.

Separately, NordVPN researchers discovered that YouTube holds the most desired restricted content, with 82.7 per cent of internet users worldwide wanting to unblock the video sharing platform.

The company says VPN is widely used in China - to access restricted online services and to enhance their online security. The availability of 2.6 billion Chinese user entries, including email addresses and passwords, "up for grabs" on the dark web makes privacy tools more of a necessity there.

NordVPN researchers estimated search volumes using multiple sources of information, including Google, Ahrefs, and DragonMetrics. The analysed search queries included the keyword 'VPN'. The analysis was based on search volumes over a period of 30 days from June 15.

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