China Connect

This article explains what the China Connect service is, as well as how to download and install the software to get you connected.



What is China Connect?

Sometimes the performance of University of Leeds teaching and learning systems could be improved when accessed from China, and we aim for China Connect to help with this.  

China Connect is a tool from the University of Leeds that you can run on your device (laptop, phone, tablet) that will boost the connection to important University of Leeds systems, including Minerva, Mediasite, Teams and University of Leeds websites.

How does China Connect work?

China Connect uses VPN technologies to create a tunnel between your device and the UK internet, for access to certain University of Leeds systems. 

When should I use China Connect?

You should use China Connect when you are in mainland China and need to access University of Leeds systems for your study. 

It is not mandatory to use China Connect, but if you are experiencing poor performance or have difficulty reaching resources when engaging in teaching and learning activities, we recommend you use China Connect. 

Once you have completed your teaching and learning activities you must disconnect from China Connect to ensure that the resource is available to other students. China Connect must only be used to support your teaching and learning activities at the University of Leeds and must not be used for research activities. 


I already have a VPN. Should I use China Connect?

We would advise you to use China Connect instead of your own VPN whenever accessing University of Leeds systems for your learning, if you are in China. Please note, you will not be able to use another VPN and China Connect at the same time. 

Is China Connect a full VPN?

No. China Connect is not a full VPN. Only the systems that we tell you about will be accessed through China Connect. Any other websites or systems you try to access will be accessed through your local internet provider. 

Do I have to pay to use China Connect?

No. China Connect will be free to use while you are a student at the University of Leeds.

Which University of Leeds systems work with China Connect?

The following systems will work with China Connect: 

Important: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra does not work with China Connect. 

If you have identified a system that is needed for Learning and Teaching activities and is currently inaccessible or suffers from slow performance by staff/students based in China, university staff can make a request for it to be added to the whitelist by completing the Request to add a system to the China Connect service. You will need to be logged in to this website ( to be able to access the link to the request form.

How do I install China Connect?

Download the correct VPN client installer for your device by clicking the appropriate link below.

The installer downloads provided are from FortiNet:

iOS VPN client: The iOS (iPhone, iPad) VPN client cannot be downloaded from the China App store. You will need to use a non-China mobile phone number to register an iCloud account. Only then will you be able to download FortiClient. Alternatively, use a different device type.

Please Note:


  1. Open the downloaded installer.
  2. Accept the license agreement.
  3. Follow the prompts to install the VPN client.


When the installation has finished:

  1. Open the FortiClient VPN Client.
  2. Click the "I Acknowledge" checkbox, then click "I Accept".
  3. Click 'Configure VPN'.

Screenshot, FortiClient VPN settings page

In the New VPN Connection window, enter/select the following information:

Screenshot, Connection settings for China Connect


Login to the Fortinet VPN every time you want to access University of Leeds content.

Reminder: You will only be able to log in to one computing device at any given time.

When FortiClient VPN is opened:

Screenshot, Forticlient VPN Connection

Test your connection to the University

Once connected via the VPN, you can test by browsing to the University VLE Successful navigation and access of Minerva resources indicates a working connection.

In addition, please test any other University resource you need to access. 

Disconnect your VPN connection

When you no longer need the VPN connection, please ensure you have disconnected. To do this, open the VPN Connected window and click Disconnect.

Technical Support & Assistance

University of Leeds IT Service Desk

Please only contact the IT Service Desk if you are having issues with your University account or accessing any University application. For any technical issue please contact Alibaba using the DingTalk app.


If you have any technical support questions or issues with the VPN, you can obtain support from Alibaba Cloud via the DingTalk app. You can scan the QR code below for a direct link to download the app. Through DingTalk you can access support in your language and in your time zone.

Please mention the University of Leeds in your correspondence.

QR code for Alibaba support

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