What you need to know about hosting application in China.

I have worked with few China projects and here are the things you need to pay attention when you choosing host for application in China.

First, only host your web/mobile application in China if your target customers are geographically located in the Mainland. With your application in China Data Center, the Chinese users can enjoy a better speed than when the hosting is done in other Asian Data Centers, even in Hong Kong.

The regional firewall namely the Great Firewall of China (GFW), is a mix of law actions and technologies enforced by the People's Republic of China to regulate the Internet domestically. It blocks access to selected foreign websites and scans every data load for cross-border internet traffic. This really slows things down, even when you access the application from Hong Kong.

Great Firewall Of China scans heavily all the in and out traffic between China and the world

Second, during the annual China's National People's Congress, GFW scans heavily all the in and out traffic between China and the world. It slows down all web applications and mobile backends hosted in China. Depends on what kind of content you publish to the Internet, it may take over a minute to load the content of a webpage!

Third, if the application has Map component, make sure you use BaiDu Map but not Google Map. This is because Google was completely blocked in China, and just until recently the use of Google Map in China is allowed. If you are a web frontend developer, and use a lot of javascript libraries on the website, make sure the open source libraries are not blocked by the firewall, otherwise you need to workaround the code base to cater for hosting.

Finally, when you link up the domain name to the website. You need to go to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and China Public Security Ministry to do the corresponding registration. For the registration, you need to provide a China Company's Business Registration and the name of your company's legal representative.

In short, I suggest you only host your application in China only if your target customers are located in China. I will talk about my experience of using Amazon AWS since 2012 in the next blog post.

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