Knowledgebase: General

Why is my website slow or inaccessible in China?

Posted by , Last modified by Matthias Haarmann on 19 January 2023 11:57

When a user calls up your website, a data connection is established between the user's computer and the server on which your website is hosted. The web server might be in Europe or America, so the data for a Chinese user must be delivered from Europe/America to China.

Although the distance between the user and the server plays a certain role regarding the duration of the data transfer, the fact that the data has to cross the Chinese border is more decisive. To ensure the censorship prevalent in China also applies to the Internet, all digital communication across China's borders has to pass through the "Great Firewall of China". The firewall analyzes all data packets, checks them against specific criteria, and then decides whether the packets should be transmitted or rejected.

The "Great Firewall of China" was introduced by the Chinese state as part of the "Golden Shield Project". Development of the "Great Firewall of China" began in 1998, and it was put into operation in 2003. The terms "Great Firewall of China" and "Golden Shield Project" are often used as synonyms, although the "Golden Shield Project" includes a lot more government security mechanisms. The main purpose of the "Great Firewall of China" is to control and filter all data packets at China's borders. The "Golden Shield Project" also deals with monitoring the Internet inside Mainland China.

The packet analysis process already slows down the data traffic, and the data throughput of the external connection from China to the Internet in the West is also deliberately throttled by the Chinese government. In addition to all of this, the connections of the domestic providers are poor, which slows down data transmissions from the Chinese border to the Chinese user even more.

The fact that your website is slow or even unavailable in China is most likely due to your website being hosted on a server in Europe or America, and the data communication between a Chinese user and your web server has to pass the "Digital Wall of China". But this doesn't have to be the case: using customized solutions for hosting as well as servers in China, you can provide access to your website in China with much better performance.

Hosting and servers from China

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