Sanity CMS does not work in China
Sanity CMS does not work in China

TLDR; Sanity’s CMS doesn’t work in China. Websites built with Sanity CMS load in 35+ seconds and have broken images and videos. Many Sanity headless CMS sites are not even accessible in China. This article explains why Sanity has poor performance in China and then provides you with the only solution to fix your existing Santiy CMS site that is fully compliant with the laws in mainland China.


In this article, we will walk you through some speed and legal tests we conducted to determine if Sanity’s headless CMS works in mainland China or not. Our staff conducted the tests in Shanghai (China Mainland) and Hong Kong (outside Mainland China) and we used 3rd party testing tools to ensure our tests weren’t biased.

By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of Sanity and if their headless CMS works in Mainland China or not.


What is Sanity CMS?

Sanity is one of many headless CMS (content management systems) for structured content. Headless CMS helps content editors, marketers, and developers work together to deliver a better content experience to their users.



Does Sanity CMS work in China?

The short answer is No.

Below is the long answer if you want to understand why:

We reached out to the Sanity team to find out if their service works in China, and here is what we got:


Sanity's response to their service working in China
Sanity's response to their service working in China


Since Sanity is built on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), their service does not have a CDN node in mainland China and isn’t formalized under China’s content control laws. This means that it is impossible to use Sanity formally and smoothly in China, until now.

Google does not offer and has not offered cloud platform services inside China and Google Cloud is not weighing options to offer the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in China.” – Google’s Media Statement

Don’t just take our word on Sanity’s performance in China. Below, we’ll take a look at some popular websites using Sanity’s headless CMS and see how well they work in China.

If you need Sanity working in China, but don’t have plans to switch CMS anytime soon, read this article: How to make Sanity work in China without switching CMS.



The Testing Process

There are two tests we need to perform to conclude if a website works in China.

  1. How fast is the site in Mainland China?
  2. Does the website operated by the business comply with the laws in China?

The second part of the test is a must for most businesses or organizations, not optional. If you are unsure why it’s a must, read Untold facts about ICP for China, and why you should get it.


Speed Test Procedures for China

Lets take a look at how 5 popular websites selected from Sanity’s global enterprise customers’ and see how they actually perform in China.

We follow the test questions mentioned earlier for each website and create a report with the following format:

1. A figure to see how fast the site performs across Mainland China.

Example of a fast website in China
Example of a fast website in China

This figure basically shows how fast the website loads across Mainland China (green = fast 👍, red/orange/yellow/grey = slow 👎)


2. A video to see the site’s performance in China visually.

We made a screen record of the website loading in Shanghai, China. This provides you with an intuitive way to see how fast the site visually loads and understand what people in China actually experience when they visit the website.


3. A yes-no check to see if the site complied with the laws in China.

If the site passes the legal check, it’s a green check. If it doesn’t pass, we will tell you why it doesn’t pass.

Now, let’s dive into the reports for each of the selected businesses using Sanity to power their sites.


Case Study Results

 

Invision, www.invisionapp.com

InVision is visual collaboration platform that helps development professionals and businesses woldwide to create and manage prototypes.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on Invision’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Invision's Media Assets won't load across China
Invision's Media Assets won't load across China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Invision’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit Invision's site under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Invision’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.

Finding if a website has an ICP license is pretty straightforward, just scroll to the bottom of the page, if you see a number like this (see below Nike’s websites for China), then the business behind the website has an ICP for China. If not, they don’t have it. You can check if your website has it or not.

Below is an example of Nike’s website in China, and its ICP number.

Nike's ICP Number for China
Nike's ICP Number for China





Similarly, we ran the same tests for the rest of the selected Sanity Enterprise user’s websites.

 

Cornerstone, www.cornerstoneondemand.com

Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based people development software provider and learning technology company. The company was publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol Nasdaq: CSOD until it was acquired by private-equity firm Clearlake Capital Group in 2021.

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening them on Cornerstone’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Images on Cornerstone's website are not accessible in China
Images on Cornerstone's website are not accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Cornerstone’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.cornerstoneondemand.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Cornerstone’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

Laerdal, www.scenariocloud.laerdal.com

Laerdal is a company that develops products and programs for healthcare providers, voluntary organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and the military worldwide. Laerdal has 1500 employees in 24 countries.

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty opening Laerdal’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Images on Laerdal's website are not accessible in China
Images on Laerdal's website are not accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Laerdal’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.scenariocloud.laerdal.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does the Laerdal’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the international website does not have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

Eurostar, www.eurostar.com

Eurostar is an international high-speed rail service connecting the United Kingdom with France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on Eurostar’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Eurostar's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
Eurostar's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Eurostar’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.eurostar.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Eurostar’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the website does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

Made In Cookware, www.madeincookware.com

Made In Cookware is a direct-to-consumer kitchen brand that manufactures stainless steel and carbon steel cookware and knives.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on Made In’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Made In's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
Made In's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Made In’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.madeincookware.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Made In Cookware’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the website does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.

 

Unilever, www.unilever.com

Unilever (UL) is a British multinational consumer goods company with headquarters in London. Unilever products include food, condiments, ice cream, cleaning agents, beauty products, and personal care. Unilever is the largest producer of soap in the world and its products are available in around 190 countries.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on Equinox’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, orange/grey means unable to display images).

Equinox's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
Equinox's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Equinox’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.unilever.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Unilever’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the website does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

DataStax, www.datastax.com

DataStax, Inc. is a data management company based in Santa Clara, California. Its product provides commercial support, software, and cloud database-as-a-service based on Apache Cassandra.

From our speed test, many people in China have difficulty viewing the images on DataStax’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, orange/yellow means unable or slow to display images).

DataStax's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in parts of China
DataStax's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in parts of China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses DataStax’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.datastax.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does DataStax’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the website does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

SportDOG, www.sportdog.com

SportDOG Brand is an industry leading manufacturer of electronic dog-training products and accessories. Knoxville, Tennessee, United States.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on SportDOG’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

SportDOG's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
SportDOG's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses SportDOG’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.sportdog.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does SportDOG’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the website does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

RBW, www.rbw.com

RBW is an all LED lighting company that was established in New York City in 2007. RBW is a sought-after brand that’s always at the forefront of lighting trends. Their timeless designs can be found in projects across the globe.

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening them on RBW’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red/orange/grey means unable to display images).

Images on RBW's website are not accessible in China
Images on RBW's website are not accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses SportDOG’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.rbw.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does the RBW’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

Volvo Trucks, developer.volvotrucks.com

Volvo Trucks is a truck manufacturing division of Volvo based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Trucks was a separate company within Volvo

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening them on Volvo’s website (that’s what the below figure means, orange/yellow/grey means unable to display images).

Images on Volvo's website are not accessible in China
Images on Volvo's website are not accessible in China

To see the site load in action, here is what a normal user would see in China:

The website cannot be reached by the user
The website cannot be reached by the user

Since the website cannot be reached by the user in China, we don’t provide a screen recorded video, even if we did, you will only see a blank screen like the above image.

Does the Volvo Trucks’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




Need Sanity to work in China?

In short, if your business is going to China, make sure your website passes the two tests we mentioned above to have a fast speed of first load and good viewing and browsing quality for your users in China.

21YunBox Quote
Reducing page load time by 0.1 seconds will increase the conversion rate by 8%.

Google, Deloitte

If you need help going to China, please contact us, we are happy to help.


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