A non-tech savvy friend is going to China. I need to stay in contact with him while he's there. I've set up WeChat to ensure we're not stalled by firewalls, but I'd really like to use iMessage and FaceTime there. How do iMessage and FaceTime work in China? What about iCloud File Sharing?

5 Answers 5


Although China is notorious for restricting various internet services, iMessage, FaceTime, and iCloud are not among them.

Your friend would have no trouble using these services, as long as he's either connected to Wi-Fi or has a cellular connection.


I was in Shanghai recently (1/1/17). iMessage worked with no problems. I did not try FaceTime.


Been in Shanghai for more than 3 months. Facetime, iCloud and iMessage work perfectly well.

And speaking for Shanghai, Apple Maps is surprisingly good. Works beautifully even for Transit.


On devices bought in China only FaceTime Audio is disabled, while FaceTime Video is available.


Not working!

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This is from Europe calling to China in March, 2021. (A daughter would like to facetime her isolated mom during Covid19 :-(

Neither Facetime(Audio & Video) and iMessage. If you click on the person's name on macOS or ios device, all of these icons are greyed out or linked to normal CN phone No.(i.e. international call)

PS: the recipient is registered at EU iCloud server, not Chinese iCloud controlled by CN gov.

This restriction is called CN Great Firewall(GFW), sometimes it would open slightly/partly/shortly if they want to confuse you, that's why sometimes for some people may work but others not, and from region to region in China.On the other side, CN only allow WeChat( a CN copy of iMessage/Facetime) to use in mainland, would like to propagate to US/EU and the world, where big data & AI in its full control.

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