We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Encrypted laptops

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
11 posts
71 reviews
Save Topic
Encrypted laptops

Hello Beijing travelers- a colleague of mine warned me about taking my work laptop (which has whole disk encryption, WDE) with me on an upcoming holiday trip to Beijing because, as he warned, China prohibits travelers from entering with encrypted devices. He cited that if it was found that my laptop had WDE, it would be confiscated and would be considered a crime. Is there any truth to this claim?

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
40,445 posts
825 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Encrypted laptops

And how would they know it? Never heard of such a rule. They won't even know that you have a laptop.

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
19,801 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Encrypted laptops

Why are you taking your work computer to your holiday?

Yes how would they know you have a laptop, or any kind of computer? I have entered China many times with laptops and tablets, and no one ever checked.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
11 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Encrypted laptops

Thank you both for your replies. It made no sense to me either-- just needed a reality check! Cheers.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai Region, Shenzhen, Bangkok
Level Contributor
7,500 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Encrypted laptops

i always were carrying my laptop and even in China, we use hard disk encryption locally.

Amsterdam
Level Contributor
4,167 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Encrypted laptops

There are probably some laws aboutt that, as there are probably laws in the US which forbids to export encryption technology to China. But even if there is something like this, it is not directed at the average traveller.

So no worries. My laptop has never been checked.

Kuala Lumpur...
Destination Expert
for Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Hong Kong
Level Contributor
14,892 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Encrypted laptops

Hi,

actually your colleague has a valid point.

China and several countries do have control on the import and export of encryption technology and software .

However having said so, personal use exemptions to this control meaning that travelling to these countries with an encrypted laptop shouldn’t cause too many problems, providing the data you are carrying is for “personal use”.

And am sure you are not taking data relating to processes that could be adapted for military purposes (e.g. new chemical processes, nuclear processes) or it is a defence type sensitive research project.

Personally I also encrypt some of my individual files and folders on my laptop/tablet..and in and out of China.

However, the US has export law which taking your laptop with encryption software to certain countries without proper authorization could be violating it.

Check with US State Department.

Also as McAfee's Data Protection Suite, has been granted an “ENC/Unrestricted” license exception with the U.S. Department of Commerce, you can contact a McAfee authorized distributor to ascertain if a permit issued by the Beijing Office of State Encryption Administrative Bureau is warranted.

So there is some truth..but of course we do not know the nature of your work, your work/establishment affiliation.

Otherwise, you have to remove the encryption software from your laptop prior to traveling, though of course hard drive is decrypted per your employer Security Policy.

As advised here,and also my personal experience, they will ask got lap top, open bag, they see it..some just wave the hand, some pick it up, look at it..smile..and wave to proceed.

Edited: 2:04 am, July 01, 2014
7. Re: Encrypted laptops

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:17 am, July 03, 2015