Theory: Thanks to China VPN IPs are better than DC IPs

I noticed that I was having more issues with private DC proxies (probably dirty) from multiple subnets than with any of the several IPs on a very popular VPN.

So my theory is that due to the massive amount of legit users in China that are almost exclusively using IG through a VPN and sharing relatively small pools of IPs. Highly popular VPN IPs are likely to be more trustworthy than DC proxies.

Out of the ~1.4b people in China incl. expats, pretty much anyone who wants to use IG has to use a VPN.

Seeing many DC proxies/subnets are exclusively used by bots, there is a next to zero chance that people using those IPs are innocent. It’s not the case with VPN IPs from popular providers.

IG can’t just action block these IPs to death unless they’re cool with cutting off ~20% of the world’s population from their service who have no choice but to use a VPN.

It would probably be worthwhile doing some tests like botting through a popular VPN and faking your footprints / user agents to appear to be from China.

I.e. Set language to zh-CN, if browser botting set browser user agent to UC Browser (most popular in China), set phone model/os’s to match what is common in China like Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo etc.


Interesting, thanks for the info! What are some chinese VPN providers? I haven’t had much experience on that front, so I’m not familiar with them.

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Running from VPN is fine as long as you do 1 month on 4g first. (in my case)


No worries! :slight_smile: Planning to do some more testing. Regarding VPNs - I was just using PIA, multiple USA locations. Afaik there aren’t many VPNs from mainland China because even the VPN sites get blocked. You pretty much have to download the VPN while outside of the country if you don’t have a friend who can help haha.

VPNs popular in Hong Kong could be a good bet though, seeing it’s a train ride away from China and where a lot of Chinese do business for it’s more relaxed laws. Check this out:

I tried with a less popular VPN (purevpn) with less luck.

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I tried with a less popular VPN (purevpn) with less luck.

Hahaha! I think you didn’t use Express.

I live in China and had been using VPNs on my VPS for some time. Eventually you’ll get block… :wink:

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It’s hard to believe China VPN’s would solve the thing. China strictly said there should be no Facebook family app in use by Chinese (IP’s) same goes for Facebook agreeing to this. So you are actually breaking two rules at one swing.

Would not play with that tho. Your call anyway!

My problem with this theory is that Instagram can give any VPN the same treatment regardless of the users or anyone using it because the IPs they use are still based out of China and are shared by tons of users. Isn’t it the same as using any VPN no matter where you are?

Also only in mainland China is Instagram and any westernized Social Media banned. HK doesn’t have the same regulations and you can use social media freely

enough said about this theory then… thank you

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“Eventually a block” sounds workable/improvable lol. Better than a block after 4 follows XD

Most of the VPN IPs being used by people from mainland China won’t be mainland China VPN nodes/IPs.

Tons of people using the same IPs is basically the point. Like guerrilla warfare. You blend in amongst the innocent people. They can action block everyone on the VPN sure, but they’ll hit a lot of legit users who are using VPNs due to censorship. Turning off the VPN is not a choice for those users if they want to use FB/IG. They’d be cutting off 20% of the worlds population from the possibility of using their services in the process.

Note that FB apparently did about $55b revenue in the entire year 2018. Alibaba claims to have done $38.4b revenue in a single day this year lol. That is almost equal with FBs total revenue for 2017 ($40.6b). So either China is either a super lucrative country worth milking revenue from or Alibaba’s books are completely cooked. Or maybe a mix of both lol. Tons of money is spent by Chinese on FB+IG advertising too, I doubt they’re trying very hard to stop it.

If you’re using regular datacenter proxies, there is a likely chance that only botters have used those IPs (or IPs in the same subnets/ranges) before. Probably making you an easier target.

Good reccomedation thank :slight_smile:

Maybe the concept of machine learning is not clear… People still think that you can find a new tool and abuse it.
Let me repeat what I said already. I live in China. Use VPNs daily. I used VPNs on my VPS and you get bloks even after 4 follows if you use them for a while. That’s what a machine learning algo does: it learns.

Right. What I’m saying is some IP ranges ML would likely be able to predict to a very high certainty, that the user is a bot. Without any other input or analysis needed. E.g. IP ranges that sold by popular proxy providers. There are a massive amount of people who use VPNs - regular, non-techy people for completely legitimate reasons. Generally, innocent people are not buying and using raw proxies.

I was split testing between private proxies and a popular VPN. On the private proxies, several accounts I couldn’t even EV, got the same errors and sent in a loop. Switched accounts that were stuck in an EV loop to VPN IPs and they all EV’d fine. Repeated about ~40 times, across ~40 unique private proxies and ~40x connecting to the VPN (random USA nodes). 100% success rate on the VPN. Same accounts, same process. Only major variable was the proxies vs. VPN.

I guess an analogy would be. Imagine ML is the police. Having raw proxies from IP ranges that are known to be from proxy providers that are popular with bot users is like owning an unregistered firearm, with the serial numbers scratched off. Having a VPN is like owning a registered legal firearm.

Having any gun increases suspicion and probability of being a criminal compared to having no weapons (I’m guessing), so both groups are of higher suspicion. But there is close to a 0% chance of being innocent with an unregistered firearm with the serial numbers scratched off. Where as, the vast majority of legal gun owners are not criminals.

I agree that VPNs are not a magic fix. The premise is that VPN IPs (from popular providers) are likely to be safer to use than standard run of the mill DC private proxies.

I agree that VPNs work for a while. But the ML learns that your account is using a VPN and what used to work in the beginning will very quickly stop working. The issue is not with the vpn but with the account using a vpn to bot. So the account will be blocked anyway. I was in your shoes 2/3 years ago. I thought I found the “secret” to avoid any problem and it did work amazingly for a while. Until Instagram learned what I was doing and penalized me for that.

Yeah agreed. I’m getting issues even with real home IPs :upside_down_face: Not saying that VPNs (specifically, very popular ones - not the small ones) are a special secret or anything. More that, they might be safer than regular DC proxies. Safer, but not exactly safe.

Because your actions are at least partially blended in with a huge amount of legitimate users using the same IPs, which isn’t really the case with most regular DC proxies. So that should at least throw a few spanners in the ML gears. If they’re too strict on the VPN IPs from popular providers, a lot of innocents will get caught in the ML fishing net - especially people living in mainland China.

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Yes I totally agree

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Revenue, not profit. Selling on Alibaba is low margin business where as FB gets a huge profit margin on their revenue. Not saying you are wrong that Chinese spending power is enormous. I own a shitload of Alibaba stocks and call options, so I definitely strongly believe in the magnitude of Chinese spending power. I just don’t think you are comparing apples to apples.

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That’s why I said revenue :wink: Agreed that they aren’t 1:1 comparisons, though making a 1:1 comparison wasn’t my intention. It was just to give an example of the value of traffic from mainland China and that most companies wouldn’t throw away this segment haphazardly.

I agree with your points though. A fairer comparison would be comparing Alibaba to Amazon, or FB to Tencent. Also, not all of the revenue out of that 38.4B in a single day is directly from mainland China. Not sure what the proportions are.

The advertising revenue FB receives is at least loosely correlated with the value that can be extracted from the traffic by advertisers though.

I think a better comparison for scale of purchasing power would this past Thanksgiving, ALL US retailers combined sold $7.2 billions of goods and $9.4 billions on black Monday. Amazon sold another $7.6 billion on prime day.

The $38.4 billion on Singles day number is just Alibaba alone. sold another $23.7 billions.

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Well I used Express Vpn on my android bot it worked for 2 months.
But since last update - every time I do an action on those phone (now on SIM CARD no VPN) I still get a day block (with date). WTF ? IG don’t allow VPN any more? rest of the android bots works flowelssly.