For foreigners living in China, it has become a rule of thumb that specialized software is needed to bypass the country’s internet restrictions and gain access to outlawed content such as pornography. But for locals, it is often not possible to obtain the tools to secure their connection and scale the Great Firewall.

While it may be risky and complicated to find adult content inside China’s intranet, locals are not deterred. TechNode went in-depth in a month-long investigation into the lengths that they will go to access the forbidden fruit.

WeChat is the platform of choice for those disseminating explicit content in the country. Personal accounts and private groups that spread pornography are very much alive, if not thriving, from TechNode’s observations. This is despite constant crackdowns from operator Tencent and regulators.

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Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com More by Tony Xu