Not even China’s notorious “Great Firewall” can stop President Trump from tweeting.
The commander-in-chief has been actively posting on his favorite social network while traveling across Asia this week, including his current stop in China — where Twitter is banned. He posted a nice photo collage earlier on Wednesday, highlighting a few moments from the “beautiful welcome” China has graced him with.
Looking forward to a full day of meetings with President Xi and our delegations tomorrow. THANK YOU for the beautiful welcome China! @FLOTUS Melania and I will never forget it! pic.twitter.com/sQoUWIGAiQ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2017
The president is using “special equipment,” according to NBC’s Peter Alexander, to circumvent China’s draconian internet policies, which ban major sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google.
So how’s President Trump still firing off tweets? He’s the most powerful man on the planet, so chances are he has a better workaround than the average visitor. But there are a few options. There’s a strong likelihood Trump is using a virtual private network, securely encrypting his data and allowing him to bypass the digital roadblocks. TheWrap’s own Jon Levine used a VPN to scan the web while living in China for four years.
Another alternative, according to Quartz, is relying on “satellite links and secure government-issued phones” from the White House Communications Agency. And if Trump is really playing fast and loose with it, he can try what works for many foreign visitors to China: simply hopping on Wi-Fi and surfing from there.
This isn’t as easy a maneuver for Chinese natives, where the firewall impacts all domestic devices. VPN apps were a popular way to reach banned sites, but the Chinese government has started to crack down on those, too, in 2017. They’ve been purged from the App Store in China, where all VPN apps now require government approval.
Luckily for President Trump, these measures haven’t impacted his Twitter schedule.