Cache Please: How to Give the Chinese Market the Websites it Deserves

Believe it or not, business and website owners across the globe have noticed that the country of China boasts a population of almost 1.4 billion people. In business and website owner terms, that would be a market of 1.4 billion people. Cue the influx of dedicated Chinese language websites for Chinese customers.

But with so much buying power in China, said Chinese customers have their pick of companies to do business with and websites to patronize. They don’t have to accept slow, subpar browsing experiences, or risk their personal information on sites that aren’t secure. Not that business or website owners should have to accept that sort of website either.

It turns out that setting up a dedicated website for the Chinese market requires a bit more than flawless translation.

Internet users in a classroom in China

The seemingly logical solution

When a business is launching their .cn website, it seems to make perfect sense that the new site would be set up within the existing hosting environment alongside all of the business’s other websites. All of the hosting infrastructure is already in place, as are security measures such as firewalls and DDoS mitigation.

But most businesses that are newly launching a Chinese website, of course, don’t have an existing hosting environment located within China. But that’s a problem as the further a user is from a website’s server, the slower it’s going to load. This is true for users anywhere in the world, but the performance issues are especially stark in China where ISPs are largely unwilling to work with each other, and there are a limited number of peering points that can help transmit a website’s data. What might be slow in Brazil becomes s-l-o-o-o-w in China.

Essentially, businesses and website owners are left choosing between a website in their own hosting environment with their trusted security providers that lacks in performance, perhaps even severely, or placing their .cn website in the hands of an unfamiliar host and unfamiliar security vendors, which may not meet industry-specific regulations. Not to mention the other issues that can come with operating within the confines set forth by the Chinese government.

The actual solution

When it comes to the optimal .cn website, it isn’t so much about getting the best of both worlds as it is about getting the best of the whole world. And with the importance of the Chinese market, leading companies are beginning to team up to provide exactly that.

The latest breakthrough comes courtesy of ChinaCache, the only content delivery network nationally licensed to deliver in China, as well as CDN provider and online security firm Incapsula. Together these firms provide an integrated solution that offers leading security and one of the fastest CDNs in the entire nation of China.

CDN diagram - CDN vs. non-CDN
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

How it works

Incapsula acts as the origin server in this system, essentially two content delivery networks at work here: Incapsula’s network of cache servers as well as ChinaCache’s. A CDN greatly improves website performance by cutting down on the distance between users and servers as well as storing cached content for quicker delivery. If the ChinaCache network does not have the requested website content cached, it forwards the request to Incapsula’s network, which either delivers the content from its own cache servers or sends the request to the origin server, all with minimal latency. Overall this has been shown to provide a 10x improvement in Chinese language website performance.

This system also provides security by Incapsula, including a web access firewall and DDoS mitigation. This ensures uniform security policies for all websites using ChinaCache with identical protection levels. Integrated support is also part of the packages, as clients have the option to contact either ChinaCache or Incapsula for assistance with any issues.

Website user accessing a Chinese website

Getting started on that global empire

Now that expanding into the Chinese market is becoming such a commonplace move, it only makes sense that expanding into the Chinese market has a market of its own. Companies such as Incapsula and ChinaCache are making it infinitely easier for businesses and website owners to show their potential Chinese customers the respect they deserve and demand. All 1.4 billion of them.