Basketball in China is akin to religion as hundreds of fans go on regular pilgrimage to events visited by a CBA or an NBA star, while the game attendance and TV viewership amount to millions. From Xinjiang to Shenzhen, China plays basketball, and CBA is its first-tier professional basketball league. 

The suspense of the CBA Playoffs is tangible, especially if you are a fan of the Zhejiang Lions, the Shandong Golden Stars, the Liaoning Flying Leopards, or the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Fortunately, the CBA is well-covered in China since the Association signed contracts with a roster of local media for the current season and beyond.

CCTV-5 bagged the 10-year rights to telecast the CBA games both on its TV channel and App. CCTV-5 traditionally streams two games per round. Its official Weibo account offers CBA highlights and video clips.

The media giant Tencent Sports signed a three-year agreement with CBA, so you can stream the season in its entirety via Tencent’s streaming platform.

ZhiboTV is another official CBA broadcaster with a three-year contract. It’s a sports streaming platform with live streams and replays available via its website, apps, and via OTT services.

Bilibili, the sponsor of the Shanghai Sharks, also broadcasts the league games through its online platform.

As for the international coverage of CBA, things are not as jolly – Bet365 is the only provider offering some CBA live streams outside of China. You need to have a deposited account with them to stream the CBA games for free (you are not required to spend your deposit). Regional restrictions may apply, however.

Other than that, may or may not offer live streams.

Every broadcaster is limited by its license. As far as the CBA is concerned, its media partners have the right to stream the games on the national territory.

It leaves millions of expats, tourists, digital nomads, exchange students, and business travelers to their own devices looking for ways how to stream the CBA games outside of China.

The good news is the fix for the geo-block is within your reach – a VPN.

A Virtual Private Network is a web of servers across the world that does several things – it encrypts your traffic, it routes your data through its servers, and it allows you to swap IP addresses.

All you need to do to unlock any of the official CBA streams is connect to a VPN server in China. Once you do, the server assigns you a Chinese IP address, which opens the doors of all your CBA streaming providers, plus Youku and a gazillion of nifty Chinese streaming sites second to none.

Since a VPN encrypts your traffic and routes it through its servers, you get an extra layer of protection and additional security benefits:

  • Your snooping Internet Service Provider can’t see what you’re up to online
  • Your data is secured from the Man-in-the-Middle attacks and honeypots on public WiFi
  • Circumvent state-imposed firewalls
  • Bypass your school or office firewall
  • Avoid ISP-imposed throttling when streaming or gaming online
  • Unlock the Chinese and international streaming sites
  1. Choose a VPN provider and subscribe to one of its plans.
  2. Install its VPN client on your device and log in.
  3. Pick a VPN server in China and connect.
  4. Clear your browser’s cache and launch a new instance.
  5. Go to your streaming site, log in, and start streaming the CBA games.

Note: it is worth mentioning the Chinese government is determined to put a lid on the use of VPNs in China. This means more work for you when choosing a VPN provider and inquiring about its Chinese servers. As of now, all state-owned ISPs must block access to VPNs from China, not outside of China. The ban is rolling out slowly, with some providers reporting issues with their servers while others are saying it’s business as usual.

With all of that in mind, below are my top picks of VPN providers that allow you to stream the CBA games with a Chinese IP, or spoof into China.

Pro Tip: When you spoof into China, it might be a good idea to use a PC or laptop instead of the mobile device. Smartphones have inherent security vulnerabilities that make it easier for firewalls and ISPs to detect the use of a VPN. Evading VPN detection involves features that are better implemented in desktop VPN apps, while on mobile, their functionality may be limited. Besides, desktops offer significantly better firewall protection and don’t carry as much of your personal data as smartphones.


  • More US city locations than its rivals
  • Includes malware protection
  • No-logs policy


  • Excellent client with pre-configured modes for streaming, P2P, privacy
  • Kill switch
  • Support for wide range of protocols, including OpenVPN

Ivacy VPN

  • Over 200 servers in 80+ countries
  • Sleek, easy to use UI
  • Customer support via email, Skype, and ticketing

Mullvad VPN

  • Three-hour free trial
  • No registration, even for paid members
  • Accepts anonymous payments


  • Golden Frog, the business behind VyprVPN also runs a gaming platform
  • VyprVPN pioneered obfuscation techniques and they have always worked well
  • VyprVPN’s no logs policy is confirmed by an independent audit