How companies can boost their website in China’s clouded market
Company name translated into Chinese? Tick. Chinese social media accounts up and running? Tick. A Chinese-language website? Tick.
The IT team managing your Chinese website clicks ‘deploy’, and you’re now on the way to conquering the lucrative Chinese market.
The euphoria of global expansion endures for a few days, but then the teething problems start stacking up. Website availability is patchy. No one is coming to your site — except for spammers and existing customers who complain about slow load speed. Moreover, your website is lost eight pages deep on the Chinese equivalent of Google.
Overcoming Internet speed challenges
Website load speed is crucial anywhere in the world and especially in a mobile-centric market such as China. Hosting your website outside of China causes slower response times due to limitations on international bandwidth into China and high latency. This problem is especially acute for companies hosting their website in distant locations such as Europe and North America.
The most effective way to overcome these issues is to host your website in China. Hosting a website in China reduces site load time, minimizes latency, and is likely to improve search engine visibility in China over the long-term.
The other option is to deploy your website on a China-based Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN will cache your website on a distributed network of nodes. When a user in China requests access to your site, the CDN will serve a copy of your website from the closest node to the end-user. This dramatically reduces latency and is an ideal approach for companies that do not wish to migrate their origin server to a new location.
To deploy your website on a hosting server or CDN in China, you will first need to obtain an ICP (Internet Content Provider) license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). If your business is not eligible for an ICP license, an alternative is to deploy your website on a server or CDN node located in Hong Kong.
Why cloud hosting is perfect for China
The scalability and built-in elasticity of the cloud are purpose-built for large online markets such as China, and businesses are realizing this advantage. Bain & Company predicts cloud computing sales to swell to 20% of China’s total IT market by 2020, up from a mere 3% in 2013.
Given the massive number of online users in China dispersed across distant geographic locations, cloud hosting offers businesses the ability to maximize coverage and respond in real-time to sudden changes in traffic. This includes adding new deployment regions and availability zones and the option to release resources when traffic subsides after a promotional event or unexpected spike in activity.
Alibaba, for instance, has broken records during promotional periods by leveraging the cloud to process up to 175,000 orders in just one second.
Safeguarding your website
China’s tech-savvy population is leading the way in adopting mobile payments, online-to-offline (O2O) services, mobile gaming, and designing their lives around their smartphone. While Android is the leading mobile operating system in China with approximately 74.4% of the market as of February 2017, its operating system can be susceptible to external attacks. To address mobile vulnerabilities and data security, companies need to carefully assess website and mobile security.
Cloud hosting provides access to a range of security products to protect your website from malicious attacks, including free services such as anti-DDoS protection and real-time monitoring. Advanced security products are also a must for commercial websites that integrate online payments. Cloud-based security products including server guard, mobile security, and web application firewall (WAF) can be integrated into your cloud architecture to protect against high volume DDoS attacks and other cyber intrusions.
To mitigate the threat of attacks, it is also vital to regularly update and backup your website. If your website is deployed on WordPress, this also means upgrading your WordPress theme and plugins to eliminate potential loopholes that hackers can exploit.
China is a highly competitive market, and consumers expect a smooth and secure online experience. The flexibility, scalability, and security offered by the cloud provides an optimal solution to boost your website in China’s competitive online space.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.