NordVPN Survey Highlights Differences in VPN Usage Patterns Between Users in Hong Kong and Taiwan

People are more likely to use VPNs for security and privacy in Hong Kong than in Taiwan, the survey finds.

Attila Tomaschek
Attila is a Staff Writer for CNET, covering software, apps and services with a focus on virtual private networks. He is an advocate for digital privacy and has been quoted in online publications like Computer Weekly, The Guardian, BBC News, HuffPost, Wired and TechRepublic. When not tapping away on his laptop, Attila enjoys spending time with his family, reading and collecting guitars.
Expertise Attila has nearly a decade's worth of experience with VPNs and has been covering them for CNET since 2021. As CNET's VPN expert, Attila rigorously tests VPNs and offers readers advice on how they can use the technology to protect their privacy online.
Attila Tomaschek
VPN service on a laptop

VPN users in Hong Kong prioritize security and privacy, while those in Taiwan prefer using their VPNs to access geographically restricted content.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Public awareness of VPNs is high in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, but usage patterns differ in both regions, according to a recent survey conducted by NordVPN. The VPN provider found that just 22% of respondents in Hong Kong were unable to name a VPN brand, compared with 36% in Taiwan, based on research conducted between January 2021 and February 2022. 

However, while 41% of respondents in Taiwan said they use free VPNs mainly to access geographically restricted content, 39% and 38% of respondents in Hong Kong indicated they use VPNs primarily for security and privacy, respectively, according to a press release released Tuesday citing the research.

VPN use in Hong Kong surged in response to the national security law Mainland China imposed on the region in 2020, which accounts for why people in Hong Kong tend to prioritize security and privacy when using a VPN. Many VPN users in Taiwan, on the other hand, are interested in getting around regional blocks to access Japanese content like anime and online game releases, according to the release.