NBH Guide: China-Hosted Website – Pros, Cons and  how it can enhance your online presence

NBH Guide: China-Hosted Website – Pros, Cons and how it can enhance your online presence

To host your company’s website locally in China might be perceived as complex and somewhat unnecessary. Perhaps you already have a well-functioning website, so why not just translate it? The reasons why it’s not such a good idea are many, so let’s dive deep into one of the most important tools for visibility and digital marketing in China – Local hosted website!

This guide outlines the pros and cons of hosting your website in China, explores options if not hosting your website in China, and covers essential factors to consider for hosting in China.

Why not use the global website as well for China?

When considering whether to host your company’s website in China, the question might arise: is it really necessary? In theory, no, as you can add another language to your existing website and have the content translated. However, there are two significant challenges with this approach:

  • Speed: Even if you host your website in Hong Kong, which offers faster speeds to the mainland, your website can’t entirely bypass the Great Firewall of China. Websites hosted outside of China tend to load much slower, often taking 10 seconds or more. In a market where Chinese visitors expect lightning-fast loading times, this delay can significantly impact conversion rates. There are still some technical solutions that can faster your loading speed even though the website is not hosted in China, but this still may vary.
  • Visibility: Understanding the importance of hosting your website in China begins with Baidu, China’s primary search engine. Unlike Google, Baidu is the preferred search engine in China. Just as you aim to rank high on Google, you want your site to be prominent on Baidu. Translating your website into Chinese and optimizing it for SEO on Google won’t help with Baidu. Chinese search engines prefer domestic hosting and are less likely to index websites hosted outside of China. This can create a disadvantage, as your Chinese competitor might quickly surpass your online visibility by strategically creating content related to your brand name.

Why Choose a Chinese Website for Online Presence?

For businesses operating in China, hosting your website within the country is essential. It ensures faster loading times for Chinese users and improves your local search engine rankings. China boasts the world’s largest online population, over 900 million internet users. Baidu prioritizes indexing websites hosted within China, making high search rankings crucial for credibility. When crafting your website, it’s vital to not only use the Chinese language but also localize content for your specific audience while maintaining your branding.

Top benefits of having a China-hosted Website:

  • Expanded Reach: A China-hosted website opens your business to a vast market of over 1.4 billion people, potentially expanding your customer base significantly.

  • Improved SEO: Hosting your website in China enhances your search engine optimization by increasing loading speeds and elevating your rankings on Baidu’s search engine result pages.

  • Trust Building: Strict internet regulations in China mean that a locally hosted website can establish your business’s legitimacy and trustworthiness in the eyes of Chinese consumers.

  • Faster Loading Speed: A China-hosted website ensures a faster loading time, leading to a more accessible and user-friendly experience for Chinese consumers, which can lead to higher conversion rates.

China hosted Websites

When should my company not consider a local solution?

There are some scenarios in which a company may not want to consider hosting a website locally in China, especially if they deal with sensitive or classified information, handle personal data, or have extensive and frequently updated product offerings. Here are some reasons:

  • Data Privacy and Security Concerns: If a company deals with sensitive or classified information or manages personal data, hosting locally in China can raise concerns about data privacy and security. China’s regulatory environment and potential government access to data can be a risk, making it more appropriate to keep such data on servers subject to the company’s own data protection measures.
  • Complex Data Transfer Requirements: When a company has extensive product listings or constantly updated content, it may involve complex data transfer and synchronization processes. Meeting these requirements in compliance with local laws and regulations can be challenging and may necessitate a substantial investment in infrastructure.
  • Global Reach: If a company primarily targets a global or diverse audience and doesn’t rely heavily on the Chinese market, local hosting might not align with their overall global strategy.

Can I Run Baidu Ads Without Hosting in China?

Baidu SEM offers diverse ad types and CTAs; some of them are similar to Google SEM, but Baidu has other features that might appear different from Google. Therefore, it is important to know your target audience and ensure your content is locally adapted. Visit our Baidu SEM site for more details.

With that said, running Baidu Ads is definitely a good option for both locally and non-locally hosted websites. However, optimizing Baidu SEO still requires to host your site in China. Read more about Baidu SEO here.

baidu analytics

Is a Local Chinese Website really neccessery if I have WeChat?

While WeChat is essential for business in China, it has its limitations. Having an official WeChat page is crucial, but it shouldn’t replace a proper website. WeChat’s features are limited, and having a dedicated website with a .com.cn address not only builds trust but also helps you appear on Chinese search engines, which WeChat can’t do.

WeChat also offers third-party apps with HTML 5 page functions for landing pages, so that you can easily link your website to WeChat.

Discover more of the potential with WeChat by visiting our WeChat site here.

ICP License and how to Host Your Website in China

To host your website in China, you need to apply for an ICP License (Internet Content Provider License) – a permit issued by the Chinese government that allows individuals, organizations, or businesses to legally operate and host a website in China.

Can an overseas company host a website in China?

Yes, foreign companies with legal business license can host their website in China as long as they have an ICP license.

Except the ICP license there are a few steps that are important to have in mind when hosting and adapting your website to your Chinese audiance:

  • Web-Design

Ensure your website design resonates with Chinese customers while also reflecting your brand identity.

  • Localized Content

We make sure your language is localized and is representing your brand, as well as your content is targeted and reflects your brand guidelines.

  • Website Hosting

When migrating, it’s crucial to host your CN website on a suitable server in China and offer website entertainment services.

  • Website Audit

To optimize your website for the Chinese market, it is also a good idea to conduct an audit to identify performance and user experience issues, like loading speed or content accessibility.

To learn more about hosting your website in China, go to NBH Website Services page here.

In conclusion, hosting your website in China is not just about compliance with regulations; it’s a strategic move to tap into a massive market, improve your search rankings, enhance user experience, and build trust with Chinese consumers. It’s an investment in your digital success within the Chinese digital landscape.


If you’re looking for help in creating a locally hosted website in China, NBH has you covered. We offer services ranging from ICP license assistance to web design, localized content, website audits, and website hosting.

Let NBH elevate your digital presence to effectively connect with your Chinese audience.