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A Brand’s Guide to the Great Firewall of China

Published on: July 10, 2023

A Brand’s Guide to the Great Firewall of China

Many people are familiar with the term “Great Firewall” when discussing Mainland China’s technological landscape. However, few know its origins or, more importantly, how it can impact a brand’s expansion into the Chinese market.

So, what do you need to know about the Great Firewall if you’re interested in tackling the world’s largest consumer market?

What is the Great Firewall?

The Great Firewall ( also formally known as the Golden Shield Project) is a legal and technical infrastructure that controls the domestic internet in Mainland China.

It enables the Chinese government to slow down internet traffic from other countries and restrict access to specific websites. Consequently, it prevents the average Chinese consumer from accessing popular platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many others.

For businesses planning to expand into China, the Great Firewall is a crucial factor to consider. Understanding how it works and its impact is essential when entering the world’s largest consumer market.

So, if you’re interested in tapping into Chinese market, let’s explore what you should know about the Great Firewall.

The top 4 things you need to know about the Great Firewall:

1. The Great Firewall has several methods of controlling content.

Firewalls employ various techniques like IP blocking, DNS spoofing, URL filtering, and VPN blocking to regulate content and restrict access to specific websites.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you should consider hosting your website in China. If your website’s servers are located in North America, Europe, or even Hong Kong, your users in Shanghai or Beijing will encounter issues. The best-case scenario would be a slower website that provides a poor user experience. In the worst-case scenario, your site might become completely inaccessible.

2. The Great Firewall has allowed China to grow its own Internet giants.

Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, and other organizations have achieved remarkable success due to the trade protectionism provided by the Great Firewall.

How does this impact your business?

It means that if you wish to engage in online business in China, you must adhere to their regulations and operate within their domain. In other words, your SEO efforts should be focused on Baidu rather than Google. Similarly, your social media advertising should target WeChat instead of Facebook and Instagram, and your e-commerce marketplace should be JD and Tmall instead of Amazon.

3. There is no Google Analytics in China.

While Google has created an impressive suite of web optimization and marketing tools for the rest of the world, it’s important to note that Google Analytics is not accessible in China. This means that even if your website is hosted in China, you won’t have access to analytics data regarding your site’s performance.

So, how can you overcome this challenge?

This is where Chinalytics comes in — our custom-developed tool designed to help you measure, analyze, and take action based on your company’s data from China.

Chinalytics is currently being used by numerous global brands in the Chinese market, making it the top IT solution for companies seeking to track and report website traffic within the China region.

4. The Great Firewall slows down all Internet traffic in China.

Although China’s Internet consumers are highly sophisticated, the country’s Internet infrastructure lags behind.

Additionally, the Great Firewall, which is in place to control online content, further hampers the public’s online experience. As a result, all types of content, especially those with heavy loads, tend to load significantly slower.

However, we at WPIC excels at optimizing website performance in China. We possess the expertise to construct and design websites that ensure a high-quality user experience. By providing a positive and pleasant interaction between consumers and your brand, WPIC can drive conversions and enhance your return on investment (ROI).

Let's take the first step.

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