Generally, most technology tools and services are available globally. There are, however, some nations that block traffic to and from specific services, and the Unites States maintains sanctions against certain countries that prohibit network communications. The US Department of the Treasury maintains information about sanctions at the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Overseas users should try service-specific access work-around procedures, if available. Most of these tools will work most of the time. However, times may arise when some of these tools are not available depending on geographic region, most often those that include real-time sharing and drafting functionality (Google apps and Microsoft 365 are the core tools most frequently reported as not working).
There are many reasons for how or why this unavailability comes about, but faculty and students should be cautious regarding the use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as a work-around in that it may violate local laws and regulations. Suggested alternatives include using a different tool, as described below, or alternatives based on curricular and pedagogical flexibility. To discuss curricular and pedagogical alternatives, please contact the Center for Teaching & Learning.
This matrix lays out technology tools, such as Zoom, and countries in which they may be blocked. This information is subject to change.
|Block Implemented (by country)|
X = Blocked by country
* = adjustments to service delivery may be required, see Technology Details below.
|Duo (Two-Factor Authentication)||*|
|Microsoft Office 365||*||X|
|WebSTAC & WebFAC|
Further information on national availability of each technology tool is below.
- Apporto support indicates that wustl.apporto.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China
- Users may be able to access Box through https://app.boxcn.net, but some reports indicate that this no longer works
- Some forums indicate that Canvas can be accessed from overseas locations, including China
- Canvas support indicates that
- Canvas access from China has mixed results: “sometimes it works well, sometimes it’s slow, and sometimes certain components appear completely blocked”
- Some commonly used tools may be blocked, so not all functionality may be available outside the United States at all times or from all locations
- Google Docs*
- Other LTI tools
* Not supported by WashU
Duo (Two-Factor Authentication)
- Duo Mobile does work in China, but the inability to access the Google Play store and Google Play services impacts Android users in several ways:
- Because users cannot download the app from Google Play, they need to download the Duo Mobile app directly
- Google Play Services is required to receive push notifications on Androids. Users without it will need to “fetch” notifications by swiping down in the Duo Mobile app.
- Phone callback authentication may not function as expected due to regulations on phone calls
- There are no commonly known issues associated with using Duo Mobile and iOS in China
- Kaltura support indicates that kaltura.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China
Microsoft Office 365 Email
- Microsoft support indicates that outlook.office.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China
- Microsoft documentation indicates users of OneDrive may encounter access issues if operating in China
- See Microsoft’s documentation for a list of supported countries for Office 365
- Microsoft support indicates that Teams is not consistently available for use in China
- Poll Everywhere support indicates that polleverywhere.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China
- Qualtrics support indicates that qualtrics.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China
- Respondus support indicates that respondus.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China, and that the LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor should work properly
- Respondus support encourages instructors to have students complete a practice quiz to verify proper functionality
- Respondus connectivity troubleshooting guide
WebSTAC & WebFAC
- There are no reported overseas access issues on WebSTAC
- Sources indicate YouTube is blocked to varying degrees in the indicated countries
- Zoom support indicates that both zoom.us and zoom.com should be available from most overseas locations, including China (see article)
- If you want to use Zoom in China, download the Zoom Client for Meetings from the Zoom Download Center (China)
- Zoom also offers a web client. Further Info about the Zoom Web Client can be found here
- Zoom international support is detailed in this article