Snakes don't work for me, since whoever designed my bathroom made it just about impossible to get it to travel the right direction behind the wall. As long as water is still flowing some, I've found lye to work pretty well. It won't damage pipes as long as it doesn't sit for hours, and I don't have a septic tank to worry about.
Also, I can't help but see China's slowing population rates as nothing but a good thing. This concept that we must continue to multiply just so we can keep our growth-based economies running is insane.