The importance of hosting your brand’s Chinese website inside the Great Firewall
Leveraging the right China web hosting partner will allow your website to drive growth in the market
Any smart companies looking to establish a web and brand presence in China know that doing business in the PRC is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Beyond coming to terms with the complete absence of Western tech stalwarts like Google and Facebook, governmental and technological restrictions on the internet can pose serious challenges to those seeking to compete in the world’s largest e-commerce market.
Overcoming these challenges is far from impossible, however — and doing so will bear fruit that avoidance will not. That’s why companies, with the support of the right China web hosting partner, ought to establish their web presence in the PRC itself, as opposed to hosting off-shore. Here are three major advantages of hosting your website in China.
Chinese consumers’ expectations regarding website load speed and internet connectivity are higher than most. China’s proclivity for mobile-first online shopping further highlights the need for a high-performance network. China’s Great Firewall — the blend of legislation and technology that serves to regulate internet activity within China — hinders foreign brands’ ability to meet the aforementioned performance expectations by slowing down or “throttling” international internet traffic as web usage inside the country increases and bandwidth is at a premium. As such, the best way for non-Chinese companies to minimize latency and improve brand awareness is to host their virtual operations within Mainland China.
SEO / SEM
A fast and performant website won’t amount to much if the 900-plus million Chinese internet users can’t locate it. Hosting a brand’s website in China will improve its searchability and indexing with the king of Chinese search engines — Baidu. China’s version of Google still places notable weight on the geo-location of a website. Additionally, its algorithm favors sites with fast load-times. Meaning, the benefits of hosting a website in China with a .cn domain provides a two-fold benefit with respect to SEO. Brands should also avail themselves of a China web hosting partner that can also provide professional, high-quality translation, as Baidu prefers mandarin-language websites.
Avoiding politically sensitive topics is a must for any company looking to do business in China, whether a website is hosted in Mainland China or not. But brands can further improve their chances of evading the ire of the government censors by establishing a legitimate web presence in China by obtaining a government-issued Internet Content Provider (ICP) license. The work and due diligence does not stop once an ICP is acquired. The license is subject to revocation should illegal or fraudulent information find its way onto a company website. Given the ever-changing regulations on internet content regulation, having the right China marketing agency in place to navigate these waters is paramount.
There’s no doubt that the regulatory and technological hurdles to overcome in hosting a website in China are tangible. Getting an ICP license, for example, requires a thorough application process that involves confirming company identification and providing commercial license documentation — to name just a few of the steps. What’s more, making sure a company website remains compliant with governmental standards is an ongoing endeavor.
Nevertheless, the real benefits of hosting a website in China far outweigh the time and financial costs. And what’s most important for companies looking to enter the China e-commerce space the right way is to understand that they need not go it alone.
Decision-makers can save themselves a lot of stress and money by partnering with the right partner that offers full-service support from web analytics, legal and regulatory expertise, server management and hosting, to data solutions and more. With the right business plan and partner in place, establishing an effective brand and web presence in China is well within reach.
If your brand wants to unlock the benefits of China web hosting, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.