Store blocked for China but still accessible while testing using VPN? Here’s why.

We were recently being flooded with requests that the blocker is not working in China when the user tested it using a VPN and also that they were noticing visitors from China in Shopify Live View even when China is blocked. We have covered the analytics portion of this query in a different blog post here. But for the visitors in Live View and the VPN issue, there is another reason which causes conflict that will be covered in this article.

Why am I able to access the store from China(using VPN) when I have blocked it?

Country Blocker Rule Set for Blocking Access for China

This is a valid question or a concern and therefore we will try to keep this as well iterated as possible.

Since you have already set the rule perfectly by adding China into the blocked countries list lets skip to the VPN part. Now you have fired up your VPN set the country to China and the connection is successful

Now you are expecting to see the blocker screen on the store as you proceed further with your testing:

But to your surprise, you were able to access the store and the screen shown above did not pop up. This would send you into a spiral because you set the rules perfectly and yet it didn’t work as expected. I will explain the underlying issue and the reason behind it.

How to fix this?

The reason why the blocker didn’t pop up is that our app’s script detected that your location is not “China” even though your VPN disagrees.

You can test what location your VPN has set up by using this link: Detect My Location

If you are facing the aforementioned issue and your VPN is showing that your location is set to China the output that you will get by following the above link for 99% of the time will be:

‘ip’:’█ █ █ • █ █ • █ █ • █ █ ‘,

Et voilà! The underlying culprit in the whole conundrum. Your VPN even though was not completely wrong. Hong Kong is definitely a part of China but it also being known as “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR)” sometimes acts as a different country altogether. So the simple solution the problem is to add Hong Kong to your blocked countries list as well along with China.

Once you have added Hong Kong into the list the blocker will work perfectly and will block complete access to China.

If you are seeing visitors from China in Shopify Live View after completely following the above procedure you don’t need to worry. Read more about it here

Still, facing trouble? Contact us at and we will help you out.