As of today 8pm Chinese time Facebook seems not to be accessible from most parts of China Mainland anymore. On the China Telecom connection of our Shanghai office the service vanished around 7:45pm. In Beijing and Guangzhou the service is blocked as well, only Hong Kong reports that they can still access the website.
How to still access and unblock Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and other blocked websites from China:
After microblogging service Twitter was already inaccessible during the last few days, Facebook now seems to be the latest victim of Chinas moves related to the recent incidents in its north western province. The recent bans and the blocking of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and even hickups with Google products and MSN are a major pain for companies and individuals working in China. Previous blocks of Western Web 2.0 services that were banned in China were sometimes only temporary but this time we are afraid the block will be permanent. The only reliable way to access blocked websites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many more is by using a professional VPN service (SSL not PPTP).
We have tested several commercial VPN solutions and found WiTopia Personal VPN (http://www.witopia.net) the best deal. Their $59.99 / year personalVPN™ – SSL (openVPN) has the best performance and is more reliable than the PPTP version, as PPTP is commonly blocked in China. We are even expecting that PPTP will be entirely disabled soon and only available again after individual companies specifically register for it. If you want to get connected to the rest of the world again its the only way - go for it!
Comparison of private VPN solutions to access and unblock Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many other websites from China:
Other options apart from WiTopia include Strong VPN with the USD 75/year Lite PPTP product or SmallVPN.