Why Doesn’t ChatGPT Work in Hong Kong?

亨利·達爾齊爾 | SEO香港專業人士

Actually – it’s got nothing to do with Hong Kong or China, but everything to do with OpenAI (the folks behind ChatGPT) from banning HK IP Addresses from accessing the tool.

Well, That Sucks…

Yes I know.

The inaccessibility of ChatGPT in certain regions, including Hong Kong, is largely due to OpenAI’s decision to restrict access in specific areas. A case study examining the use of ChatGPT in public universities in Hong Kong highlights several critical points and responses to this restricted access:

Access Restrictions

OpenAI has restricted access to ChatGPT in various regions, such as Hong Kong, China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and Syria.

The reasons behind these restrictions are not explicitly stated but may involve regulatory, legal, and ethical considerations.

Impact on Education

Despite these restrictions, ChatGPT has garnered significant attention within the educational sector for its potential to automate communication and facilitate learning. However, the unavailability of ChatGPT in Hong Kong has necessitated workarounds, such as using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or procuring licenses for educational use.

Adaptation by Universities

Hong Kong’s public universities have responded to the challenge by exploring policies and management strategies that adapt to the emergence of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT. These responses have evolved over time, moving from initial hesitation to more proactive strategies for integrating AI tools into teaching and learning, while also addressing issues of academic integrity and ethical use.

Benefits and Risks

The study acknowledges both the potential benefits of using ChatGPT in education, such as personalized learning experiences and enhanced student engagement, and the risks, including perpetuating biases, potential misuse, and challenges to academic integrity.

Policy Recommendations

To navigate the complex landscape of AI in education, the study suggests timely yet temporary policy announcements by universities, and clear guidelines on the extent to which generative AI can be used in courses.

    This case study underscores the need for a balanced approach to leveraging generative AI in education, recognizing its transformative potential while also mitigating associated risks. The response in Hong Kong serves as a reference for other regions facing similar challenges with restricted access to AI technologies.


    Given that the restrictions are a result of OpenAI’s policy decisions, possibly influenced by export control laws or other regulatory considerations, solutions from a user perspective are limited. However, here are a few suggestions:

    • VPN Use: While some users encountered problems accessing ChatGPT through VPNs, selecting a VPN server located in a country with access to ChatGPT might be a workaround. However, this is not a guaranteed solution and could be inconsistent.
    • Partner Services: For individuals and businesses in Hong Kong requiring similar AI functionalities, exploring services from local partners or providers offering comparable AI technologies might be an alternative.
    • Stay Informed: Regulations and policies can change. Keeping an eye on official OpenAI announcements or discussions in forums may provide updates on any changes in access policies for Hong Kong.
    • Contact OpenAI: Directly reaching out to OpenAI for clarity on the situation and any potential changes in policy could provide more definitive answers.
    • Explore Alternatives: Other AI platforms or tools might offer similar functionalities without the same regional restrictions. Researching and testing alternative AI services could yield viable substitutes for specific needs.

    It’s important to note that any workaround involving bypassing regional restrictions should be considered carefully, taking into account legal and ethical implications.