If you’ve got a company that is based in China or that sells to people in the PRC and you’ve decided it’s time to get that website up and running, then you now have an important question to ask – Should I host my website in China?
Yes, like all things administration in China, the hosting of a website is a topic which is often asked about and met with lots of rumours, confusion and misinformation.
The good news is that you can save yourself from all that. How? If you are not a registered business in the PRC, you don’t need to host a website in China. You can set up a server and a domain name outside China in Hong Kong in a matter of minutes. Inside China? Time estimates vary, it can be a long process, but worthwhile if you have a registered business in China.
What About The Great Firewall?
The simple fact is that you don’t have to host your website in China – in many cases, there’s no need. The Great Firewall of China stops traffic coming into China that is selectively blocked by the government. It doesn’t mean that your site won’t work if it’s based outside the country. Or that your customers should make a coffee while waiting for your site to load.
Occasionally some strange sites (like legitimate software products) have been known to get blocked seemingly randomly. That doesn’t mean that yours will. As long as you are conducting legitimate business that doesn’t conflict with the censorship rules then your website will work without any problems. Just get the right hosting so as not to compromise on speed…
So Where Are The Best Places To Host?
If you are serving traffic inside the PRC and want to host outside the country to make setting up your website easier and more flexible, then you have a few options. Generally, internet speeds inside Asia are fairly slow with a few exceptions. Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong all have reliable and fast internet, and are close enough to China to give good page loading times.
Typically Japanese and Korean servers are pretty expensive compared to those of Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore geographically is a little further away, so that leaves Hong Kong as the prime place to locate your server.
Setting up your website in Hong Kong is as easy as setting it up in the USA or Europe from a paperwork perspective. It takes minutes, and does not require any of the complex administration processes that mainland China requires.
Hong Kong is also our preferred location, as it is possible to get direct bandwidth into China, which gives a boost over other countries. We specialise in WordPress Hosting in Hong Kong specifically to help your business get into China.
Can I Or Should I Host My Website in China?
If you have an ICP license to host your site in China (for Chinese citizens and companies registered for business in the PRC). And you are facing mainly a Chinese customer base (for example e-commerce) then it is better to host your website in China.
The only delay is the paperwork for your ICP license which could take up to a month to process. This license simply states that you, or your company is legally responsible for data coming from your site.
If you have your business registered in China, contact us and we’ll work with you to get an ICP license setup.
What If I Have A Lot Of Customers All Over The World?
Good question. Generally speaking a Hong Kong based server should deliver traffic to the USA and Europe with good speeds. However, if you are going to be experiencing high levels of traffic or dealing with downloads coming from your site. It’s a good idea to consider cloud hosting, or use a CDN for the downloadable files.
If you’ve still got questions about hosting then let us know in the comments!! Alternatively contact us with your questions. If you are ready to host in Hong Kong, check out our hosting packages here.