SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As of 2016, there are more than 1.3 billion internet users in China (Internetlivestats) – just over 50 percent of the total population – and that number is only expected to grow over the next few years.
Already a powerful market, international-minded businesses should be thinking about how they will most effectively reach this large audience and leverage its collective buying power. However, there are challenges for those looking to enter China's online market.
A content delivery network (CDN), specifically one licensed in China, could help overcome some of the barriers of entry into the marketplace. We've put together some of the most frequently asked questions relating to China CDNs. Let's take a look:
Q: What is the "Great Firewall" of China?
A: The Great Firewall of China is part of the greater effort dubbed as the "Golden Shield Project." Implemented in 2006, the Great Firewall is a sophisticated internet filtering system. Websites have to be licensed and all content has to adhere to Chinese regulations.
As a result, working with the right partners – ones with existing relationships with Chinese agencies and authorities as well as deep knowledge of the country's unique rules – is essential to both understand and comply with the government regulations.
Q: How do I know a CDN provider offers reliable delivery in China?
A: There are several ways to determine whether a CDN provider will work for you in China. First, is the CDN provider licensed to deliver content in China and does it have infrastructure on the mainland? Some CDN providers try to reach China from Hong Kong; however, Hong Kong's network is separate from the rest of mainland and can result in an extra barrier to entry and 50 percent slower performance.
Second, look to see how many points of presence (PoPs) there are on mainland China and where they are located. Are they dispersed throughout the country or concentrated in large metropolitan areas?
If a real-world test run is desired, many CDN providers offer short-term trials so companies can gauge how well a CDN will work in China and other global markets.
Those on the fence about partnering with a China CDN should understand that a non-Chinese hosted webpage takes an additional 10-15 seconds when accessed in China – a lag time that can potentially deter customers.
Q: How important is web performance to users/customers in China?
A: A recent survey found more than 90 percent of shoppers in China will stop shopping online if they encounter a slow loading site and more than 60 percent will go directly to a competitor's site to purchase the product. Clearly, ensuring accelerated delivery of content is one of the hallmarks of a successful ecommerce shop in China.
Q: Besides performance, how should I prepare my website for a Chinese audience?
A: A straightforward translation of a U.S. website will not succeed in the Chinese market. Chinese web surfing behaviors are vastly different than western consumers. Tailoring a website to Chinese consumers, both in design and content, will go a long way in terms of winning cross-border sales.
Q: What is an ICP (internet content provider) license and does my business need one?
A: There are several mandated licenses for websites in China. All websites are required to have an ICP Beian and PSB (Public Security Bureau) Beian in order to operate in China. Additionally, an ICP license is a requirement for all websites that "make money" on their site (i.e. ecommerce).
For more information on the required licensing in China, take a look at this resource.
Q: What is a global CDN?
A: A global CDN is one that can deliver content within milliseconds all over the world. It typically has points of presence (PoPs) on every continent to lower latency and accelerate loading times for hosted websites. When considering entering the market in China, be aware not all "global" CDNs are registered to deliver content in China. A truly global CDN provider not only is able to deliver content beyond the Great Firewall, but also to every corner of the world.
Q: Will a CDN also work to accelerate dynamic content/web applications in China?
A: Yes, it's possible, but not all CDNs have the capability. Most CDNs have the ability to cache content (i.e. photos, text) throughout their network for quicker delivery to users. Dynamic content (i.e. games, applications, payment transactions or any sort of interactive software) cannot be cached and must be delivered directly from the origin server. Dynamic acceleration, typically available through tier-one CDNs, enables data from the origin server to bypass standard internet nodes and be delivered through a more direct and efficient path, reducing load time and improving responsiveness.
CDNetworks has a robust CDN/ADN (application delivery network) that optimizes content and application delivery across China's multiple internet service providers.
Q: Is a mobile site important in the Chinese market?
A: Mobile is critical to success in China and is one of the primary drivers for ecommerce growth. Mobile adoption is growing at an incredible rate – and more shoppers are turning to mobile devices to both research products and purchase goods. A mobile-friendly website is essential to capture this piece of the pie.
Have more questions?
Contact CDNetworks, we'd be glad to answer them! CDNetworks was the first fully licensed China CDN vendor approved by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and has been accelerating websites in China since 2006. With 21 PoPs across mainland China, CDNetworks has the infrastructure and bandwidth to reliably accelerate content to customers.
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