Do You Do Business In China? Must Know Facts About China’s Internet

Cyberspace in China is a notorious area for foreign businesses. It’s a complex system with bans, regulations, and oversight. The country has strict controls over the internet, and even more, regulations about cyber security.  If you own and operate a business in China, you need to understand the region well. Several major concerns can trouble your website setup and performance, and in turn, your user base.


Hosting Outside Of China vs. Inside Of China

Hosting inside of China gives you very few options. There are only three major telecom companies and internet service providers. They are China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom. All of them are owned by the state and have their individual complexities, strengths, and weaknesses. Since each operates independently of each other, connection speed varies widely from one region to another.

There are only three fiber optic entry connection points, located in Qingdao, Shantou, and Shanghai, where you will find decent internet at certain times of the day. Since there are very few entry points for international access to the internet, the Chinese internet becomes a huge bottleneck. And this ultimately ends up causing problems with page load speed and overall performance.

The alternative is to host outside, however, due to the strict operating guidelines for foreign businesses, this can make it extremely expensive and risky. You can select the highest speed internet provider based on your connection, but the performance issues don’t just end there. So, what option do you have to prevent loss of business? Let’s analyze how you can configure the right tools to help your website performance.


Website Performance Degradation

China has over a billion people, and the majority of them have access to the internet. A lot of businesses utilize high-speed internet during the morning, afternoon, and evening. And due to the previously mentioned bottleneck, you will constantly face performance degradation.  But what happens if you don’t even know that your website is severely lagging? Or more specifically, what is it exactly that is turning away users from your business?  If a few seconds of lag are considered bad, a few minutes can mean serious consequences for your business and reputation.  The first step you need to take is to implement a solution to monitor the performance of your website. In doing so, you have the ability to continually monitor the performance of your pages. Additionally, you can set up alerts so that you are made immediately aware when specific elements are lagging and page load speed is falling below the critical limits or pre-defined thresholds.


Advantages of creating alerts

  • You get immediate notifications when your website has critical issues.
  • The alerts contain all information of the error, and can be configured to be sent by a variety of means, including phone, text, email, or using third-party tools your teams already use, like Slack or PagerDuty.
  • Create points of escalation for when you need to quickly remedy the issue.


Internet Speed Fluctuation

Now that we have talked a bit about the monitoring aspects, let’s see what can be done for the severe speed fluctuations you will be facing. Just as there are only 3 entry points, there are only 7 exit points in China for international connections.  Not surprisingly, these junctions are completely overloaded during peak hours of the day. The Great Firewall of China is another level of access that websites need to pass before they can get access to the international internet, further compounding the issue even more.


What Does This Mean for Your business?

When a user is accessing your website from a country thousands of miles away, the physical distance is of little significance to them. They expect your website to load within seconds.  Anything more than that and they will lose interest in the website and move onto some other, similar website (likely your direct competitor) that operates much faster. This is one of the biggest issues that plague the e-commerce world today. Slow internet speed combined with slow load time equals an increase in users who abandon your website.

For comparison, an e-commerce website that does $10 million dollars in business will boost up their conversion rate to 2 percent by simply by improving their internet speed by one second. This translates to $200,000 in revenue, which is a massive amount for a small price to pay.

How can you ensure your website has all the power it needs to work faster? Using website monitoring tools and solutions offers certain obvious advantages like efficiency, scalability, and user satisfaction. You can focus on how to grow your business, while you automate the technical aspects of the website, just like it is meant to be.


How Does Website Monitoring Help?

You can choose a 24/7 web page monitoring solution that will get you the desired results. A world-class service can become a guardian of your network, so you can monitor it from anywhere and anytime. Here are some of the benefits you get from using this solution:

  • Ensure whenever your hosting service is causing an issue, you stay updated.
  • Improve browsing speed for desktop and mobile devices
  • Get performance data, at an element-level, so you can pinpoint performance issues
  • Simulate network conditions
  • Get a global perspective on the performance of your website by various locations.


All these details can be sent to you over various communication channels. To amplify the performance boosts further, you can use web application monitoring. It works by simulating actual visitor behavior to understand problematic areas that need improvement.  By understanding where users may be impacted, this allows you to quickly optimize the load times of your pages and applications, increasing performance, and enhancing functionality.

The main function of your website is to handle traffic efficiently and provide high levels of user satisfaction. The designs and functionalities of the website are great, but if they take too long to load and perform less than adequately, it won’t matter in the end. You can begin by checking your website performance and availability for free using the free network performance tools, including a Great Firewall Test, to see how your website loads from behind the Great Firewall of China.


Doing Business in China:  The Final Verdict

Navigating the Chinese international internet territory is tricky. It’s very different from what you might have experienced with other countries. Without expert help, your website may repeatedly fall short of performance expectations. To put things into perspective, remember that a slow website can hike up the rate of user abandonment to 75 percent.  Dotcom-Monitor has all the solutions, tools, and features that can ensure your web pages, web applications, web services, and infrastructure are performing at an optimum level, so you never risk losing business again to a slow-loading website.

Try the full Dotcom-Monitor platform with a free trial.


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