How to make Shopify work in China?(2022 Updated)
How to make Shopify work in China?(2022 Updated)

TLDR; Shopify performs poorly in China. In this post, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide on how to make your Shopify site perform better in China. Websites built with Shopify load in 80+ seconds and have broken images and videos in mainland China.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian e-commerce store creation platform. Individuals without a technical background can easily create e-commerce websites through the visual interface provided by Shopify.

In addition, Shopify provides a rich rental library for store owners to use to improve their Shopify stores. For example, make it support multi-language, multi-currency support.

Before we dive into how to fix Shopify in China, let’s answer some frequently asked questions that our clients have asked us:

Is Shopify Blocked in China?

No, Shopify is not blocked in China, but most Shopify websites perform poorly in China because Shopify doesn’t have any Shopify CDNs or servers in mainland China. Even Shopify sites using “near China servers” are slow in China as we’ll see below in our case study.

Testing Your Shopify Site’s Performance is Difficult

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to testing your Shopify site’s performance is the lack of access to China, specifically the China Great Firewall. Without being in China, it’s impossible to experience how your site will perform for users within that country. Even if you have a team member in China, their descriptions of how the site loads can be vague and verbose, making it difficult to fully understand the user experience.

To overcome this challenge, we developed our own visual load test tool. This tool allows you to see how your site performs inside the firewall, without needing to physically be in China. As an example, we tested the performance of STEVEMADDEN.COM in China and recorded the results in the video below:

Before Optimization
After Optimization

If you’re interested in testing how your site performs in China, feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to test it for you.

Does Shopify have a Headquarters in China?

No, Shopify does not have headquarters in China.

In 2019, it was reported that Shopify was setting up a team in China with the goal of helping Chinese exporters that want to sell outside of China.

Fast forward to 2022. Linkedin Data shows that Shopify only has 14 of 16,355 employees based in China.

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Can Shopify be Used in China?

In short, no. The reason for this is that external resources such as JavaScript, CSS, and APIs used by Shopify perform poorly in China and are often blocked. Even if these resources are optimized, you would still need to obtain an ICP filing and license to operate legally in China.

If you’re not familiar with the process of obtaining an ICP filing and license, don’t worry. We can provide you with a free session on how to make your Shopify site work within China’s firewall, comply with Chinese laws, and sell in China. This is the only way to ensure that your site will load stably in the long term.

While there are companies that claim to help you make your site load fast in China, their solutions often only work for a short time before being blocked. We want to make sure that your company does not find itself in this situation, which is why we are here to help you navigate the process of entering the Chinese market in the right way.

If you need help selling to China and getting your store fonts to China, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free session.

How to Speed Up Your Shopify Site in China Without Coding?

It’s important to keep in mind that speeding up your Shopify site is just one part of the solution. It’s also crucial that your site complies with Chinese laws, or it could be shut down by the Chinese government within a day or two. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this happen many times before, and once your domain is blocked in China, it’s very difficult to recover.

Since we posted this article in early March of this year, our team has received many questions about a no-code solution for accelerating Shopify sites in China.

Our initial solution required developers to integrate Shopify storefront APIs using a JAMStack approach and deploy them on 21YunBox Edge, which is primarily a PaaS platform for developers. This meant that we were providing Shopify acceleration solutions in China for developers.

To make it a no-code solution for Shopify users, we created a new product called Yammo, which allows your store to load quickly in China without having to build your store from scratch. This means that no coding is required.

The core technology behind Yammo uses 21YunBox Edge, 21YunBox Build, and the 21YunBox Cross Border Network. This means that it is backed by our in-house technology and the leading cloud providers in China.

If your business needs this service now, please visit the Yammo website and submit your site. Our team will generate a plan for you within a day or two.

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