Mac Cannot Access Internet in China

RC has a problem related to Mac. He just got a new Mac and bring it to China. He could not connect the Mac to Internet no matter using LAN, Wireless… It is weird that he can use Skype, but cannot browse any websites.

Livid has a quick response: try to set the DNS to


(This is the OpenDNS)

RC tried, and it works!

Well. It sounds like a miracle.

So if you encounter the same problem, you may try this solution, since it seems not a solution that you can find out yourself.

Why this happens? I don’t know exactly why. I just know the DNS setting of China Telecom is completely massed up.

35 thoughts on “Mac Cannot Access Internet in China

  1. that is indeed weird and something I never could have figured out myself.

    by using that open DNS, is a person’s Mac more susceptible to a hacker attack?

  2. One of my best friend has a Mac in China, and no problem at all.

    My brother came from aboard to China with his Mac and no problem at all.

    Sometime I have difficulty connecting internet with my PC, should I writte a blog to say: “PC can not connect on internet in China” ????

    Many people just read the title and will have a wrong idea.


  3. I’ve had my Mac in Shanghai for almost 2 months now. No issues connecting anywhere. At home, at City Diner, at Blue Frog, via my friend’s wireless LAN, at work. I don’t think it’s a Mac issue.

  4. I agree with mememe — I think this could be a general PC issue in China. My brother-in-law and another friend had a similar issue and both were on Windows machines (I discovered this after I resolved my issue and they had no idea what caused their problems). I originally thought it might be Mac-specific because on previous trips I was on a Windows machine and didn’t have an issue.

    Thanks again Livid and Jian Shuo!!!

  5. My friends and I have a Macs in China (both Shanghai and southern China). We have never had any DNS problems before. It must have been the location he was at.

  6. thankyou thankyou and very happy after 2 days of utter frustration.

    I have used my mac for years travelling to china and never a problem.

    lived in minhang with broadband connection no problems.

    moved hoiuse and could only get an adsl connection……………….horror of horrors. could only access .cn and any .com address returned a not connected to the internet error. your open dns number did the trick. oh yeah happy happy happy.

    thanks again

  7. I was having trouble with a China Telecom ADSL account and my wife’s PC last week, and a switch to OpenDNS solved the problem. Hooray!

  8. since everybody seems to be happy connect I hope someone can help me . I have a Mac book Pro . They just set up DSL at my apartment. But it do not work with mac. I also have windows on my mac and there it s no porblem . Already when I start the computer the Ethernet cable is not reconized in the mac mode but in the windows one no problem .

    Please help me

  9. Thanks for the advice. The DNS setting makes a day-and-night difference for me on a MacBook Pro in Pudong. The problem is probably provider specific. I had the same problem here in January.

  10. I just found this blog. I’ll try the open DNS; I hope it works. I just moved into Zhengzhou in Henan province 3 weeks ago. I had an ADSL connection installed at my apartment, but they say that here in China it doesn’t work with macs maybe only in Shanghai and Beijing, which I find hard to believe. They went back yesterday to try installing a thing called Macpoet, which started my old MacOs system 9. The internet worked for a couple of hours and now I’m back at no internet. They tell me I should just buy a PC. It makes no sense. Somebody please Help!, I can’t go through a whole year with no internet on my mac.


  11. i may sound as foolish as i sound but it isnt working on my G4. then there is the fact that i recieved my mac as a gift before i came here to china and am not too familiar with the OS. all i’ve done is go to system preferences and went to networks. there i found DNS servers and tpyed in the given numbers. if i’ve done something wrong please let me know, i’d really like to have a personal computer at home.

    otherwise, above mac solution does not work everywhere

  12. i am connected by a LAN line. i work for a school teaching english and it’s all run throught the same network, specifically the “local area connection.”

    adress type is manualy configured and i al the rest of the Ips, subnet mask, etc. at my disposal.

  13. Since you are on a private LAN I can’t guarantee anything. You will ultimately have to check with your system admin.

    But usually on a Mac your best first effort is to just open the browser and surf away.

    The network control panel “location” setting is set to “Automatic” by default. In the US and in most of the world this almost always works and there is no configuration required. In fact, PC users frequently can’t get their new Macs on the net because they are used to major configuration tasks and have gone in and screwed something up in the network settings instead of just opening the browser and surfing away or checking their email.

    The Shanghainese situation is a little different in my experience. The Apple default settings provide access to only a very small number of sites. So try this: Go to the Apple pull-down-menu – Location – Network Preferences. Then set “Locations” to “Automatic” and set “Show” to either “Airport” if you are wireless, or “Ethernet” if you are wired. “Configure IP4” should be set to “Using DHCP”. Now for “DNS Servers” type

    Now try a little Google action and see what turns up.

  14. it is not true, I have a PB bought in US, in china, it is P&P to get internet with DHCP.

  15. I tried the DNS server using the DHCP setting and still no internet. It looks like

    I have a power book G4, I hired internet through tietong; they said it didn’t work with macs; after several tries, it finally worked but it only lasted for 2 weeks so I’m back to no internet. I don’t think the company knows what to do to make it work, they think my computer is the problem but I don’t agree.

    Anyone knows what should I do or try?


  16. Thanks for the advice on the open DNS. I live in Shanghai and have no problems connecting my Mac Book Pro to my office network or my home wireless. However, at my flat in Beijing I can’t connect to the ADSL properly. I get the same wierd situation described above… I can get onto Skype and Gmail, but not much of anything else. I’ll try the open DNS. Another suggestion for you. I travel with a portable wireless router and my Mac connects to its wireless signal just fine. The router has no problems connecting to ADSL in China, so it sends a good internet connection to my Mac. This functions as a nice little workaround if you can’t get an ethernet connection to work directly into your Mac.

  17. just got internet installed in our apartment. it works fine on pc but not on my mac. we are in shanghai. i dont know to get it to work??

    I have the exact same problem as nicolas :( I am using a powerbook g4 with 10.4. Any ideas or help much appreciated.

  18. couldn’t go online with my macbook via wireless router either (only under windows or only directly plugged to the modem). i changed dns as described and everything works fine now. i would never have found out by myself. thanks a lot!!!

  19. Thank you, Stodieck, I did as you said and it worked! I am in Anshan for 3 months and wanted to use my Macbook.

    Now I would appreciate if someone could help me again. I am with Hotmail. I would like to be able to have my inbox contents download when I go online so I can access it offline. Any suggestions?

  20. I have a MacBook and have been able to use it in both Guangxi and Xinjiang.

    Using ADSL was a problem at first in Xinjiang. The mac wouldn’t even recognize that internet was plugged in. But as soon as we got a wireless router everything worked fine. Though there are some websites I can’t get on my mac, that my boyfriend can get on his windows… like hotmail :(

  21. Hey, I had a friend from CA who had a Macbook, and last year her myself and one other friend decided to get ADSL in our dorms in Fuzhou. (She was using mac i was using Ubuntu and he was using XP).

    XP – no problem – we all know chinese loooove FAKE windows.

    Ubuntu – Ok after i changed some of the settings.

    Mac however…

    The guy played and played with it, she even changed the machine into chinese for him, and he still didnt do it..

    she went next door to get something and when she came back she found he had put a XP install disk into the computer and was rebooting to install windows.

    She went mad called him a fucking idiot, demanded her 700Y back and threw his bag out, she then added that this computer alone was more than his yearly salary.

    Now im back with a macbook and im hoping i dont have the same problem. There seems to be lots of people using Macbooks in Xiamen and they connect with no problems but most use a router or a wifi set up.

    So my suggestion..

    Get a router let the router do the work – you might even get one from the telecom office if you ask, i got mine for 60Y – 59Y cheaper.

    Anyway sorry i cant be much of any help to anyone but i think this story is funny.


  22. I am in Yulin and have the same problem with my macbook pro as everyone else. the two DNS numbers have done nothing for me. China is very backwards so none of this surprises me!

  23. The actual problem is that China Telecom does do IP6, and Leopard and Tiger default to turning it on.

    Turn off IP6, in network settings, tcp/ip, and all the wierdness goes away.

    Using OpenDNS is still recommended, if only to avoid the virus laiden DNS redirects that China Telecom uses. That plus China Telecom’s DNS is horribly implemented from both a tech perspective, and a user perspective.

  24. Hi there… I have just arrived in Shanghai and have plugged in my airport extreme however it cant seem to find the internet signal… it just flashes yellow. I have tried numerous reboots but alas. Has anyone else had this issue, or can help with a solution..?


  25. @ guy on May. Can you get online using ethernet (connect your system with the modem directly)? I don’t know what you already done… my experience with Chinese internet service (DSL) was that you need to make sure that your system works when using ethernet first because you’ll need to setup your network. Then setup your network… like how you do it when you just got your extreme at the first time. (I brought with me the express… but I think it should be about the same). You may have to set your extreme to default setting… but try and see if you could just “change” the existing network to a new one (I am assuming your extreme was used somewhere else before) which I couldn’t do.

    The tech support guys I run into don’t know anything about Mac, and kept trying to tell me how easy PCs are.

    I also found a interesting contrast. In US, the internet connections at home are faster than the connections at coffee shops like Starbucks. But in China, at least for my own experiences, Starbucks has faster connections.

  26. thanks GN. The owner gave us a wireless router that works (what I’m working off now), it is just that I still cant get the airport setting right to send a wireless signal. I think it may be a PPoE. Is that the case here..?


  27. Hello! all- i have a china mobile N97, and i can’t access internet, The Problem is GPRS Not Configer, Plz Help me

    best Regards!

  28. Hey all, I know this is a really anicent post, but I just recently got my aunt’s internet (ethernet) back up working thought that I can finally have access to plan my trip here before I leave, but end up finding out about Macbook has problem with China’s internet hookup- process. I tried the open DNS and the “new location” method in the network, but none of them seemed to work. At first after those changes are apply, Safari have the loading signal so I thought it would work but none of those tries ever did. So PLEASE, PLEASE let me know if you have any other solutions I can try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *