If you’re looking to expand into China you must make understanding how the Internet works there a priority. Obviously China’s online market space holds tremendous opportunities for foreign businesses, however, the bad news is that it operates and is regulated in a very different way when compared to what we’ve come to know about it here in the Western world.
China’s Internet space is … temperamental, to say the least, as it is heavily regulated and monitored. Any content found not to be in compliance with regulations or laws would be blocked or removed right away. So, if you want to be visible and accessible to the Chinese online community, you’re going to have to learn the rules of the game and strictly adhere to them. If not, a number of “challenges” can and will occur, with the most frustrating being the long loading time of your website.
The best-case scenario for a website not hosted within China is a loading time within 35 seconds. Of course, that’s the best-case scenario, and it’s not unusual for loading times to take 90 seconds or even not load at all.
If this is happening to you and you’re not sure why, we’ve listed out a few areas below you can try troubleshooting first:
Banned Internet resources – This one is a biggie and often overlooked. Dig into the tech behind your site and sift for any Google fonts, Google maps, Twitter, Facebook and other western Internet tools, plug-ins etc. are blocked in China. It is important to make sure there are no banned resources located on or within the website, especially anything Google related or owned (sorry Google!) as China’s monitoring is especially adept at finding and trapping sites using them.
Non-Chinese Hosting – Locally hosting your site inside of China will improve website speed issues dramatically. In order to do this you’ll need an ICP (Internet Content Provider) license. Read more here on how to host your website in China.
IP – Another factor directly impacting website loading speed in China is shared IP. It is widely believed that foreign websites have a much greater risk of being blocked. This is not actually the case; any website can get blocked, but the golden rule is a differentiated IP address so your website is not blocked because due to a shared IP address with another site that is not compliant (such as your Western-hosted home site)
Testing – Web Presence In China offers complimentary speed testing from different locations around the world, especially China, that will give you valuable insights and point you in the right direction when trouble shooting for improved loading times. Contact us for a free website speed assessment.
Beijing-based Web Presence In China (WPIC) is an independent, full service digital marketing and IT development agency. WPIC helps businesses setup and manage WeChat online stores. Having over 13 years of on the ground experience in the China digital sector, the firm has worked with over 300 global companies and leads a team of 120 people between their global offices. WPIC supports China and the greater APAC region in digital and IT solutions.