Duo: Use Duo Security in China


China (Mainland/People's Republic of China) has implemented technologies to regulate the Internet domestically. These regulations impact users' ability to enroll in and use Duo Security in China.

In this article:

Summary of regulations and limitations

  • China blocks the Android Google Play Store, which is the platform for installing Duo Mobile on an Android device. See below for information on how to work around this issue.  
  • China blocks Android's Google Play Services, which prevents the Duo Push feature from working properly. Users can utilize the Android "Fetch" feature or use a Duo Mobile Passcode as a workaround. 
  • China blocks SMS messages containing links.

Best practices for using Duo in China (on any device)

Due to the aforementioned limitations, there are a few best practices for traveling to China and using Duo.

Short trips to China: bypass codes

It is recommended that users generate bypass codes and keep them on their person in China. See Generate and Use Bypass Codes for instructions.

Extended stays in China: hardware tokens

The University recommends that users who live in China for long periods of time get a hardware token from their local Technology Help location before traveling to China. You can also request a hardware token and verify your identity via video; call 1-HELP (612-301-4357) to start the process. See Hardware and Security Key Tokens for additional instructions.

Recommendations for iOS devices in China

There are no known issues with enrolling or the day-to-day use of Duo Mobile with iOS Devices in China. However, a VPN connection may be required in order to complete enrollment with a QR code.  See the GPS Alliance website for directions on using VPN in China.

Recommendations for Android devices in China

Enroll Android devices in China

Recommended: Duo Mobile

Users are able to download the latest version of the Duo Mobile application directly to their Android device by following the steps in this Duo KB article.

Note: Users may require a VPN connection in order to download Duo Mobile, or in order to complete their enrollment with a QR code. 

See the GPS Alliance website for directions on using VPN in China.

Use Duo Mobile from Android devices in China

Recommended: Use Duo Mobile passcodes. This will work in all locations, even without Internet connectivity.

Note: In order to use Duo Mobile Push, users must manually fetch the Duo push from their Android services menu.

Assistance accessing Duo from China

  • Students, faculty and staff can request a hardware token and verify their identity via video; call 1-HELP (612-301-4357) to start the process.
  • If a user is unable to access their account as a result of the limitations on Duo in China, Technology help (1.612.301.4357) is open 24 hours a day and can provide a temporary bypass code. This will enable them to generate bypass codes (see above). 
  • Users will be required to establish a video chat connection (via Zoom or Skype) and complete an identity verification process in order to receive a bypass code.