Selecting the best Content Delivery Network (CDN) for users located in China can be a daunting task. The list of local CDN providers grows longer every day as the Chinese market is rapidly expanding.
But don’t feel too overwhelmed! There sure is a CDN out there that matches your goals to enter the Chinese marketplace. Below we listed the 5 best China-based CDNs to help you in this quest.
Use CDN to Solve Content Delivery Latency Issues in China
If you’ve ventured into the Chinese market and are experiencing issues with latency, the problem may lie with your CDN (or lack thereof). Of course, your chosen website host will have the largest impact on your website speed, but the CDN comes in a close second.
The world has become more connected than ever, but distance still matters. The number of miles between your web server and end-users in China significantly affects the speed of everything from web browsing to email functions. And when it comes to delivering large quantities of content, requiring more bandwidth and storage, this becomes even more noticeable.
CDNs store content on their own high-speed devices and service it from a site that is closer to your visitors. In the case of a US-based company serving content to an audience located in China, China-based CDNs can help bridge the distance and increase the website’s performance significantly.
Of course, a local web host can help with speeds, but pairing it with a local CDN is still a safer bet. Hence, for companies based in the US, Europe, South-America, etc. the best option for efficiently delivering content to Chinese customers would be using both a China-based web host and a China-based CDN.
When selecting a CDN, the main factors to consider are the quantity of the Points of Presence (PoPs) the CDN offers, and their respective locations. PoPs are strategically-placed, secondary CDN hubs.
For optimal performance, you’ll want to make sure the CDN provider has a PoP in, or near, the area in China you hope to target.
The 5 Best China-Based CDNs
There are several standout CDNs in the somewhat cluttered Chinese marketplace. The 5 China-based CDNs listed below were selected as they have become successful by offering reliable local content delivery from US and other non-Chinese companies to Chinese end-users.
Each of these China CDNs has its pros and cons and therefore should be carefully evaluated according to your requirements and strategy.
1. Alibaba Cloud
Also known as Aliyun, is a cloud computing leader based in China. Alibaba offers a full range of cloud services: data storage, big data processing, relational databases, and of course, CDNs.
If you’re familiar with Amazon Web Services (AWS), you will already have an idea of how Alibaba works. Some people refer to Alibaba Cloud as the Chinese AWS.
- Reasonable prices and pay-as-you-go plans
- Data centers placed throughout China
- Thorough documentation
- Enterprise services
- Cluttered interface that has a high learning curve
- Restricted to FTP, which is considered a less secure way to manage file transfers
- Many online reviewers mention sporadic but significant website issues, including unexpected downtime
2. Baidu Cloud
Baidu is known as the “Chinese Google,” an important designation considering the Chinese government has effectively banned Google in China. The company has grown steadily and is well-known among Chinese internet users. Baidu offers a variety of web services, including local hosting and CDN.
- Primarily a self-service provider
- Widely known, so there are many online resources
- An enormously successful tech company that keeps growing
- Challenging to locate English documentation
- Relies on unencrypted, less secure data transmission methods
- Difficult to quickly address content delivery issues, resulting in delays that can cost you money
Fast-growing BaishanCloud has a global presence in the world of cloud computing. The company places a great deal of focus on enhancing its CDN offerings. Gartner Research has named BaishanCloud as the only Chinese service provider with “global network capabilities.”
- Full control of CDN caching
- Offers 24/7, live support
- Has a broad geographical reach
- Not self-service – you will need the assistance of a Baishan Cloud employee to get started
- Does not use HTTPS
- No DNS service
ChinaCache was the first provider to offer CDN service in China. The company provides a full range of cloud computing services throughout China and well beyond. CloudCache was founded in 1998, making it one of the earliest internet providers in Asia.
- Well-regarded CDN service
- Network extends beyond mainland China to outer regions
- Offers live support in English
- Generally more expensive
- No instant set-up; options must involve ChinaCache representative
- Recent negative press regarding executive leadership
5. Tencent Cloud
Tencent is the world’s largest gaming company and also one of the largest companies in China. The company has its hand in dozens of major industries, from social networks to payment systems and smartphones. Tencent offers a long list of cloud computing services.
- Tencent’s size and reach means it is eager to stay relevant throughout China, so there are Tencent data facilities nationwide
- Competent, responsive support staff
- Advanced features like one-click access and self-service access controls
- More expensive than some offerings
- The enormous size can make it difficult to locate specific support resources
ICP Licensing? In-China CDN or Near-China CDN?
Before you can set up a CDN based in China, you’ll need to become a licensed Internet Content Provider (ICP). The ICP license is issued by the Chinese government and allows websites to be hosted from servers based in China.
More often than not, this process can become time-consuming and expensive, so companies expanding their reach into the Asian markets can choose another option : Near-China CDNs!
These CDNs are located near China, but not actually within its geographic boundaries. They are often found in Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and other nearby countries.
Since they are still physically closer than other global CDN options, near-China CDNs retain many of the benefits of Chinese CDNs. If you’d like to read a bit more on why you probably don’t need an ICP License, definitely check out this article.
Some Near-China CDN providers well-worth considering are :
- Chunghwa Telecom
When selecting a CDN to expand your reach into China, it is essential to consider the geography of the CDN’s PoPs. The distance between PoPs and your customers makes all the difference.
Consider Near-China CDNs if you have not received your ICP license or do not wish to spend time pursuing it.
When you partner with Mlytics, you’ll enjoy the convenience of a one-stop solution. We offer an easier and more affordable way to subscribe to and use multiple Near-China CDNs that allow you to leverage the power of multiple, top-tier CDN providers in a single service.
Learn more about how Mlytics AI technology is changing the way platforms interact with website requests autonomously.