Streaming Music Services in China

From ChinaExpat.Wiki


The world of streaming music is a personal thing and often we have a lot of history with a particular platform. Because music licensing is done on a country-by-country basis, you may find it difficult to maintain your overseas service or that you need to change your habits to do so.

Spotify[edit | edit source]

Spotify will work outside of your home country for 14 days. That means that if you are on a short trip to China, things should work as expected. If you are logging in with Facebook though, you should consider switching to an account name and password as Facebook is blocked in China.

If you want to use the service for longer than 14 days in China, you will need a VPN with a server in the country of your Spotify account. Then every two weeks you only need to point the VPN to that server, log in and you will be good to go for another 14 days.

Regardless of how long you are in China for though, because Spotify does not have servers in-country, your connection may be spotty with the music often stopping to buffer. A VPN may help that, but they also come with their own connection issues.

Apple Music[edit | edit source]

Because Apple sells its music services in the Chinese market and has in-country servers, Apple Music works seamlessly in China. Regardless of whether you have a local or international account, the service also seems to run faster without a VPN making it reliable, light on battery use, and fast.

Google Music[edit | edit source]

As Google is blocked in China, this will only work over VPN and only work as well as your VPN. If you are happy with this back home and have a fast enough VPN connection, you should be good to go. You won’t, however, ever be able to use it with the VPN off in online mode which means that if your VPN goes down, so will your service.

QQ音乐[edit | edit source]

QQ's music app is available on iOS and Android (directly from QQ - not available from Google Play). The app is heavily focused on the Chinese market and is extremely popular. The service can be used for free or upgraded for a small fee each month. The selection of Chinese music is better than any of the international platforms. The app, however, has a limited selection of songs from outside China and is only available with a Chinese language interface.

YouTube Music[edit | edit source]

As YouTube is blocked in China, this will only work over VPN and only work as well as your VPN. If you are happy with this back home and have a fast enough VPN connection, you should be good to go. You won’t, however, ever be able to use it with the VPN off in online mode which means that if your VPN goes down, so will your service.