Your Netlify Solution for China
Your Netlify Solution for China

Netlify does not work out-of-the-box in China. This article explains how to accelerate your Netlify site in China, compliantly.


Introduction to China’s Web Ecosystem

To understand why your Netlify site might be having issues in China, let’s take a step back to understand how China’s web ecosystem is different than the rest of the world.

Typically tech teams are focused on building and optimizing web apps. Meanwhile, the legal department takes care of legal requirements to ensure your site is fully compliant.

However, the technology and legal aspects in China are not mutually exclusive.

For example, to deploy any content to mainland China, you need a special license issued by the Chinese government, called an ICP. Without this license in place, viewers in China will be unable to access your site.

Without a Valid ICP, viewers in China will see this message
Without a Valid ICP, viewers in China will see this message


Issues with Foreign Tech in China

Many popular technologies we use daily such as Github, Google, Twitter, and others, don’t work in mainland China.

Just as the Great Wall once protected China from the Mongol hordes, the Great Firewall now ‘protects’ Chinese netizens from the perils of foreign influence. Any website operating in mainland China must be subject to the China Communist Party’s (CCP) oversight and censorship.

The only way the CCP can ensure this is if those websites are hosted on Chinese servers requiring special licenses.

The CCP cannot regulate or order a website hosted outside mainland China to be changed. So their solution is the Great Firewall – they simply block things they don’t like and track any users attempting to distribute or access such data.

Which means hosting outside China doesn’t comply with Chinese laws and tends to be highly unstable and might subject to be blocked without prior notice. This is why you see sites perform 5-10x slower in mainland China.


How to Accelerate a Netlify Site to China:

21YunBox partnered with Netlify to bring Netlify users a simple and compliant solution to accelerate your organization’s site in China.

One site for the Global Market
One site for the Global Market

Now lets look at the two steps required to get your Netlify site working in China.


1. Get The Site Compliant in China

To deploy a website to China, you are required to have a Chinese Entity, domain registered in China, and valid ICP.

You can get servers and optimize your site for China, but port 80/ 443 will be blocked without a valid ICP in place, making the site inaccessible to the public in China.

ICP is required to make your site available in China
ICP is required to make your site available in China

If you don’t have the Chinese entity, domain, or ICP, don’t worry. 21YunBox can help.

21YunBox has a team of experts in China to do all the heavy lifting to help you get a valid ICP and depoy your site in China. The process usually takes 3-4 weeks.

Example of Nike's ICP displayed on footer of their website in China
Example of Nike's ICP displayed on footer of their website in China

Once you have a valid ICP, you are ready to deploy your Netlify site live in China.


2. Netlify + 21YunBox Plugin

The Netlify + 21YuBox Plug-in takes deploying to China to the next level. It allows you to deploy your site to China directly from your Netlify Dashboard using a CI/CD pipeline.

This plug-in pulls the built Netlify site over the Great Firewall of China and deploys it in China on 21YunBox’s multi-cloud China Edge.

The build CI/CD pipeline works automatically when the Netlify + 21YB integration plug-in is in place. So any time a user commits an update on Github, the site will be updated in a few minutes in China.


How to Setup the Netlify + 21YunBox Plug-in:

Once you have a valid ICP, you are ready to setup the Netlify + 21YunBox Plug-in and CI/CD pipeline.

Step 1: Link your Netlify Site with 21YunBox

Step 2: Add an Integration Token to your Netlify Site:

Step 3: Install Netlify + 21YunBox Plugin

Step 4: Deploy Site to China


Netlify Solution for China Test Results

To show the results of the Netlify acceleration boost, we ran two China speed tests. First, the image on the left was a test site deployed on Netlify. Then image on the right is the same site, but deployed in China with 21YunBox.

Netlify Site Accelerated in China with 21YunBox
Netlify Site Accelerated in China with 21YunBox

The test results shows the Netlify site went from mostly orange and red (slow & unstable) to all green (fast & stable) by using the Netlify solution for China.

If you have questions or want to get started on accelerating your Netlify site in China, click here to Get Started.


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