Introduction to Web Hosting Solutions for China
Whilst the so called “great firewall” doesn’t seek to stop users from reaching most websites, there are some clear benefits that come with hosting your website in China.
Primarily, it’s going to make it a lot quicker for users to load your site. When a website is hosted outside of China it’s going to take a while longer to load – imagine all that information having to jump through a few hoops before arriving on the consumers screen.
We are all impatient when browsing the internet, If a customer has to wait a few seconds for a site to load it’s likely that they might just click the dreaded ‘back’ button.
By hosting your sites in China, loading times are going to be much more rapid – improving the visitor experience and thus their perception of your brand.
The search algorithms on China’s most popular search engine, Baidu, means a site hosted within the country is also likely to be higher up in the suggested results. Users are likely to visit these top results – and that’s why it’s important to get displayed here.
When hosting a site in China a few technical and legal issues will need to be addressed initially. To begin, you will need a government license to publish content online and in some industries, such as those related to finance, will need to abide to stricter regulations.
Chinese Domain Names (.CN)
Chinese Domain Registration
The .cn domain name is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for People’s Republic of China.
Why a Chinese Domain Name?
Today .cn has more than 5,709,234 registered domains, meaning people like and trust this domain name. You can register your own .cn domain and create a website targeting the Chinese audience.
Acquiring a .cn Domain
As is often the case, any organisation from outside of China looking to register for a .cn domain has to submit the following documents –
- Scanned colour copy of business registration certificate
- Scanned colour copy of identity card (driver’s license, passport, national ID etc.) of an authorised business signatory
- Signed and stamped copy of a “Letter of Commitment” document
Hosting inside Mainland China
Hosting a website in China offers your company with clear benefits – although this can be a complex and bureaucratic process. We offer full support to ensure that you develop a site which is both reliable and fast, whilst abiding to all necessary government legislation.
Internet Content Provider (ICP) Licence
Chinese law specifies that all websites hosted within the country need an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license – or they will be blocked. There are two potential types of ICP license that you can get – commercial and personal. Personal ICP licenses must be used for information purposes only, and cannot be used for websites relating to anything commercial. A named contact must be given when applying for any type of license – unfortunately, this cannot be a foreign passport holder. Qumin will be able to assist with the undertaking of the ICP license registration on behalf of brands – obtaining ownership of the domain as a representative of your company. The whole process will take around three to six weeks, and once a license is arranged, it will be displayed on your site as proof of your compliance. Note that this license will not be necessary if your site is hosted outside of Mainland China, such as Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network helps ensure that your website is consistently available and fast for all potential clients living in China. A CDN is essentially a large group of servers organised in multiple data centres across the internet. They are particularly important if your content originates from outside of mainland China. This is because the internet infrastructure within the country may mean your site is subjected to incredibly slow download speeds, particularly if you will be using multimedia content like videos. By using a CDN you can ensure the content on your website is delivered to site users from their nearest internet server; meaning the content travels shorter distances, increasing download speeds and the overall browsing experience for your potential customer.
Ministry of Industry and IT (MIIT) Requirements
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is the state agency that manages the regulation and development of the internet within the country. The government department is responsible for the development of core polices related to running a site within China, such as the system of ICP license’s needed to host a site within the country. Through Qumin, with offices in both London and Shanghai, they are constantly updated on policy changes thus providing accurate guidance and advice which ensures all website follows the appropriate legislation.