Privacy tips when travelling to China

My family is traveling to China soon and we are having some issues to deal with. My sibling needs access to Google services for work so no way to escape Google. My parents are using Facebook Messenger as their only communication service so they can’t escape too. (Google and Facebook are like essential services in my country so nearly everyone have at least one Google/Facebook account. That’s so sad.)

My questions are:

  • I’m currently using ProtonVPN and I’m planning to install it on my family devices. However, I don’t know if it can bypass China firewall so that my family can use Google and Facebook products. If anyone has experienced with this before, please share your experience.
  • Also, is there anything else I need to know before going to China? Like will our devices got checked at the airport or something like that? Should we turn off our phones before going to airport? Please share your thoughts.

Thank you for your help.

Update: ProtonVPN published a blog about data security when traveling to China. I will leave it here for anyone who needs.

  1. AFAIK, OpenVPN and L2tp are dead. You might have a chance with IPsec, cause big firms use them. Not sure about IK2ev or whatever it’s called. Having DNS encryptions and ensi bypasses some websites.

  2. Unlikely but technically possible. Follow protonmail’s guide with US custom and you might be fine.