TLDR; PageSpeed Insights give the wrong metrics for websites in mainland China. Wrong metrics lead to the wrong result. We explain why it doesn’t work, and we will provide solutions to fix it in the end.

2023 Update: Exciting News!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Lighthouse Metrics China, a free website designed to provide lighthouse metrics and page speed insights more efficiently to our Chinese audience. By hosting the website within China, we address the challenges posed by the Great Firewall and technical restrictions, ensuring optimal accessibility and lightning-fast speeds for our users. To get started, simply visit, enter your website’s URL, and let our powerful tools do the rest.

As a company helping businesses to succeed in China, we’ve got asked a lot by enterprises about site speed optimization in mainland China. With all the questions, one of the most common ones we found was:

21YunBox Quote
I deployed my site using 21YunBox, but my PageSpeed Insights is giving 4.4 seconds (bad) Speed Index, can you help?

a PageSpeed Insights report for a site deployed using 21YunBox
a PageSpeed Insights report for a site deployed using 21YunBox

Is Google PageSpeed Insights accurate in mainland China?

The short answer is no because Pagespeed Insights have no servers located in mainland China.

The long answer:

After some research, the root reason why the PageSpeed insights report does not give the right Speed Index for China websites is that they don’t have any servers near or in mainland China. The PageSpeed Insights servers are located in these four locations:

  • Northwestern US (Oregon)
  • Southeastern US (South Carolina)
  • Northwestern Europe (Netherlands)
  • Asia (Taiwan)

Noted that there are no servers within mainland China.

So, what would the correct metrics look like?

PageSpeed Insights reports (before vs after in China)
PageSpeed Insights reports (before vs after in China)

Our engineers ran the tests in Shanghai, the Speed Index is down to 0.5 seconds from 4.4 seconds (see the below screenshot).

a PageSpeed Insights report for a site deployed using 21YunBox
a PageSpeed Insights report for a site deployed using 21YunBox

How to fix Pagespeed insights that giving you the wrong metrics in China?

The way PageSpeed Insights runs its metrics is using the open-source lighthouse. So we can install the lighthouse on servers in mainland China would fix this.

For example, you could rent some Virtual Private Servers in the major cities (such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chengdu) in China, then install the lighthouse on those servers.

Or if you have developers in China, they can use Chrome(built with lighthouse by default) to run the test for you.

At 21YunBox, we are happy to provide a China-side lighthouse report to all our users, if you need help getting the right metrics, contact us and we will give you a quick guide on how to have a successful online presence in China.

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