Host your website outside China for Chinese market

We mentioned how to build a website for Chinese market in the previous article. We will emphasize the cloud service provider on this article.

Why you need servers outside China to host your website

Let’s say you want to promote your product/service to Chinese market online. You want to have a website for Chinese potential customers. The best scenario is you should host your website within China. But, for companies, you need to have ICP license to do it.

  • ICP license. ICP stands for Internet Content Provider license. You need to apply for it if you want to host your website within China. To acquire this license, as a company, you need to have a legal business identity in China.

It might be easy for big companies to register business identities in China. Yet, it might be difficult for small and medium-sized companies to do it. If this is the case, hosting a website outside China for the Chinese market will be the best option for them.

Criteria for choosing cloud server service provider

Before going to the service provider list, we want to address three criteria we use for choosing the service provider. We only list the service we have used.

  • Get through Firewall. The first criterion is Chinese visitors can visit your website without being blocked by the firewall. However, there is no guarantee that you can get through Firewall in the future. We can speak our current experience. Here we are only talking about the website presence for visitors. For website development, you still need to use VPN to access your website back-end, when you use FTP and SSH, except for Chinese service provider.
  • Performance. The server performance should be good enough to host Drupal-based website. Since Drupal is more picky about server performance than WordPress and Joomla, we want to address performance here.
  • Speed. This is also crucial for the websites hosting outside China. You don’t want your visitors to spend a long time opening your website. Here we talk about the website speed without DNS service.

The service provider we recommend

  • Digital Ocean. It is a popular service provider outside China. But it also a good option to host the website for the Chinese market. We have websites hosted in their San Francisco server. It has worked well so far.
  • Alibaba Cloud. Alibaba cloud is the biggest cloud server service provider in China. They also have servers in the rest of the world. If you have a plan to move your website into China in the future, their cloud server in Hong Kong would be the first Choice. It makes it easy to transfer your website in the future.
  • Linode. It is also a well-known service provider in the industry. We host a website in their Tokyo server. If your website is targeting not only Chinese market but also other Asian markets. Tokyo server would be a good choice to consider.

Wrap up

Setting up a website outside China is much easier and faster than within China. If you want to test water in the beginning, it is a better and faster choice. You can focus on collecting customer feedback. You don't need to wait for registering a business identity and acquiring ICP license.

We are sure there are other good service providers we haven't discovered. Please send us an email if you know any other good service providers.