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What countries is ChatGPT not available in?

Here are all the countries ChatGPT isn't available in

Reviewed By: Steve Hook

Last Updated on April 5, 2024
Image shows the ChatGPT logo on a green background below the pc guide logo
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ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model that can interact with user in a human-like way. Since its arrival in 2022, ChatGPT’s popularity has grown to an international scale. During this time, OpenAI has rolled out a number of updates to the GPT model which have only increased its popularity further, with the platform reaching approximately 180 million users in March 2024. While ChatGPT is available to the majority of the global population, there are some countries where it is not accessible. So, what countries is ChatGPT not available in?

Quick Answer

ChatGPT is banned in a number of countries, including Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran, to name a few. Developments within the world of AI technology have led many world leaders to believe that platforms like ChatGPT pose a threat. Hence, why they’ve been banned.

ChatGPT has been banned in some countries

Advancements in AI technology, although extremely impressive, can pose a threat to the cybersecurity and safety of users. This is why, among other reasons, some countries have placed a ban on the use of the platform. Since it was released in 2022, OpenAI’s chatbot has received mixed reviews. While the capabilities of the platform are undoubtedly one of the biggest publically available technological advancements we’ve seen in recent years, many share concerns about its use in educational and professional settings.

Whether it’s students getting caught using the chatbot in their studies or employees using the platform to write emails, ChatGPT has caused quite a lot of controversy on a global scale. So much so, that last year saw the inaugural AI Safety Summit, organized by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Where world leaders were brought together to discuss the risks of AI on a global scale. If you’d like to read up on the event and what happened, check out our AI Safety Summit 2023 guide, where we discuss the key information from this two-day event.

Just two years after its launch some governments have decided that the risks involved in keeping an AI tool, such as ChatGPT, available to the public are too high and have banned the use of the platform completely. Let’s find out where ChatGPT is unavailable.

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What countries is ChatGPT not available in?

In recent years OpenAI’s popular chatbot ChatGPT has become unavailable in a number of countries. Below is a list of the countries, regions, and territories in which ChatGPT is banned or restricted:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Iran
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea, North (North Korea)
  • Laos
  • Libya
  • Macedonia (North Macedonia)
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Palau
  • Russia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

Although this does seem like a lot, the amount of countries where the platform is available is far greater. ChatGPT is available in 152 countries and the list below represents just 28 of them:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Jamaica
  • South Korea
  • Nigeria
  • Nicaragua
  • Netherlands
  • Indonesia
  • Albania
  • Myanmar
  • Ireland
  • Somalia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Egypt
  • Croatia
  • Ethiopia
  • Czech Republic
  • North Macedonia
  • East Timor
  • Antigua

ChatGPT is unavailable in some countries – reasons why

ChatGPT is unavailable in a number of countries and the reasons related to why are varied. The list below focuses on just some of the countries that have banned ChatGPT and their reasons why.

North Korea

North Korea has strict regulations on the use of the internet. The North Korean government heavily censors the internet, and access to many popular websites and services is restricted. So, unfortunately, ChatGPT is unavailable in North Korea due to government prohibitions. This ban was implemented early on in ChatGPT’s existence and is arguably due to Kim Jong-un not wanting to be undermined by the American app.

Iran

Iran is a country that has strict internet censorship laws. The Iranian government heavily monitors and filters internet traffic, restricting access to many websites and services. ChatGPT became unavailable in Iran fairly early on, as the government prohibited its citizens from accessing it.

Russia

ChatGPT is also banned in Russia. Due to its status of conflict with Western countries, Russia decided that it wanted to avoid the platform out of fear of misuse. The Kremlin decided that generative AI was too much of a threat to undermining its propaganda campaigns.

China

As with Iran, China has strict internet censorship laws. The Chinese government heavily censors the internet and restricts many popular websites and services. Unfortunately, ChatGPT is unavailable in China because of these restrictions and prohibitions. The Chinese government started restricting access to ChatGPT in February 2023, allegedly to prevent the widespread of false information.

Some African countries

Some African countries, such as Chad, South Sudan, Eswatini, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea, have all decided to ban ChatGPT, mainly due to maintaining internal political stability.

Cuba

Cuba has limited access to the internet. The Cuban government heavily regulates and censors internet access, and access to many websites and services is restricted. ChatGPT is unavailable in Cuba, as the government prohibits its citizens from accessing it. Due to its poor relationship with the US, Cuba is reluctant to use American-produced tools.

Syria

Syria is a country in the Middle East with strict internet censorship laws. As with other countries on this list, the Syrian government heavily monitors and filters internet traffic. This restricts access to many websites and services. Ultimately, ChatGPT use is unavailable in Syria due to government policies and restrictions. Syria’s mistrust of the app is rooted in not trusting America and fearing widespread of misinformation.

Italy – temporarily

At the end of March 2023, Italy became the first Western country to temporarily ban the use of ChatGPT. The Italian Data Protection Watchdog blocked the use of ChatGPT over data privacy concerns. Then in April 2023, the country-wide ban was lifted, and today OpenAI ChatGPT is available in Italy.

Can I access ChatGPT if it’s unavailable in my country?

If you’re unable to use ChatGPT in your web browser or the app, then it could mean that it is banned in your country. If you’re unsure about your country’s status when it comes to ChatGPT availability then refer to the list above to see if your country is named. If this is the case then there is a way to try and work around the issue, by using a Virtual private network (VPN). Using a VPN, like NordVPN, can allow you to access websites and data that are unavailable in your country. Essentially a VPN masks your IP address so you can access websites that are blocked in your location.

This can be a useful option to try if you require access to ChatGPT in a country where it is banned. However, it is important to note that if you are going to make a paid account with the chatbot (ChatGPT Plus), whilst using the VPN then you’ll have to input payment details registered to your country which could potentially be risky.

Will ChatGPT be banned globally?

With the number of countries that ChatGPT is available in massively out-weighing the number of countries where it isn’t available, it’s safe to say that there are no global plans for the app to be banned any time soon. However, since its release in 2022 the number of countries that the platform has been banned has risen, and who’s to say whether that number will increase further? As of right now, Spring 2024, there are no reports of the platform being banned globally.

Wrapping up

OpenAI’s popular chatbot ChatGPT has made waves within the AI community over the past few years. The technological advancements in AI platforms have meant that the use of AI tools has become way more mainstream and widespread. However, there are some countries where the platform is not available and users are not able to reap the benefits of the chatbot.

Some countries like Iran and North Korea, banned the platform early on in its existence, whereas the developments in widespread knowledge of AI tools have taken a little longer for other countries like China to recognize. Meaning, that the longer we use this tool the more governing bodies may raise issues with it, and subsequently have the platform banned.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.