Did you know that the Great Wall of China was the first ‘firewall’? Not to stop password or network attacks, but to keep unwanted people out of countries. Now, let’s fast-forward to the digital age. The Great Firewall of China is China’s very own internet barrier.
People who have never heard of the Great Firewall of China should know that it is a digital screen that was put in place in 1998 to control how people in China use the internet. Foreign information sources and networking sites like Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, X (RIP Twitter), and thousands of others that didn’t follow their own rules were stopped, censored, or made harder to access.
In short, if your Drupal site is housed outside of China and follows Chinese internet rules, it’s likely that it will take a lot longer for people in China to load. China is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but its huge digital landscape offers an exciting chance for growth and connection. Something you definitely wouldn’t want to miss!
Find out about the Great Firewall of China, how it works, and why you should improve your Drupal web presence in one of the fastest-growing countries in the world!
TABLE OF CONTENT
- How the Great Wall of China Came to Be
- Yes or no?
- How does it work?
- Getting ready for the Chinese market on your current site
- How do you use Chinafy?
How the Great Wall of China Came to Be
Long ago, when computers were just starting to become popular, China decided, “Hey, we want to make sure that our people only see things we like.” So, they started building the Great Firewall, a digital wall around their internet.
This wall worked like a filter, keeping things out that the government didn’t want people to see. As time went on, around 2006, the Chinese government added more rules and technology to make the wall even harder and control what people could do online. By 2009, China couldn’t get to sites like Facebook and YouTube because they didn’t follow the rules of the wall.
People in China aren’t the only ones affected by the Great Firewall. Websites from other places are also affected. If a website or app doesn’t follow China’s rules, it might be hard for Chinese people to use it. So, even if your Drupal site works great everywhere else, it could be completely blocked in China, have some services and parts of your site blocked, or just take too long to load.
Here is a speed test comparison of how quickly a website loads from Ireland and China. Even though the China page has been loading for 36.9 seconds, it still doesn’t have everything it needs.
Yes or no?
The outside world thinks that the Great Firewall (GFW) limits the freedom of ideas and views and hurts scientific progress and new ideas, but many of its supporters disagree. Why?
- Because of the limits on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Whatsapp, and Amazon, China built its own digital environment that can last. WeChat, Weibo, Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent all gained a lot of users.
- It can help keep hackers and malware from hurting the country’s information and systems.
- It lets the government control what Chinese people can see and read online so that it fits with their culture and political values.
- By blocking out some content, you can keep the peace and stop the spread of false information or content that could cause trouble.
How does it work?
People sometimes use tunnels or VPNs (virtual private networks) to get around this block and get to WhatsApp or Facebook, but these methods are usually short-lived and get banned sooner or later.
Then what do they do? Here are three ways that entry can be limited:
- IP Blocking: This method includes blocking specific IP addresses that are linked to websites or online services that the government wants to limit access to. When someone tries to go to a site that is banned, the firewall says “no” and the site doesn’t load.
- DNS Poisoning: In this case, the gateway servers change the IP address answer from the DNS server to filter and block sites.
- Manual Censorship: Engineers, technicians, and government officials work in teams to report unauthorized material and make sure the firewall works properly.
Getting ready for the Chinese market on your current site
Even though all of these rules might make things hard for website owners, there’s no denying that China’s market is full of possibilities that many people would want to look into. Why should you still think about making your website China-friendly?
- Huge opportunity for sales
- Gives you an edge over the competition (not everyone thinks of it!)
- Better access and a better experience for users
- Localizing content and getting people more involved
- Opens the door to business possibilities, partnerships, and collaborations
But to make sure your Drupal websites run quickly in China, you may need to make complicated changes and spend a lot of time and money.
So, what should you do?
- Servers in China are a good place to host your website.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service that has computers in China.
- Work with digital landscape experts in China to get an influence there.
- To improve your SEO, optimize your website for local search engines like Baidu and adapt your material to China.
- Using a smart website optimization service like Chinafy can help fix technical problems on sites that are slow or don’t work (more below).
How do you use Chinafy?
Choosing a Content Delivery Network (CDN), switching hosting companies, or increasing network speeds may not always be enough to improve the delivery of your local content. For onshore delivery to work well, a combined method that includes more services is often needed. Come on in, Chinafy.
“Chinafy intelligently optimizes any website to run almost as well as if it were in China and show more of itself in China.”
Here are some of their case studies that you can look at.
So, here’s what happens when you send your site to Chinafy:
Step 1: Study to improve
Your website is looked at so that the layout, content, and technical parts can be understood. This helps you figure out which parts of your Drupal site need to be changed to make them better for the Chinese market.
Step 2: Improve technology
Chinafy improves the technical parts of your website so that it loads quickly in China. It does this with its Smart Action function, which is based on rules. This could mean replacing slow or blocked resources with ones that work in China (or getting rid of them if there are no good alternatives), making the code simpler, and improving speed overall.
Step 3: Increase speed
Then, Chinafy connects websites to fully-managed Content Delivery Network (CDN) services near China to get even better speed. They set up the CDN so that it caches and sends your website’s information with less delay, making it load faster.
There are also ways for websites with an onshore presence and an ICP to use onshore PoPs through Chinafy.
Step 4: Sync automatically
Once the China-friendly version is ready, a way to keep everything in sync is set up. This automated system connects the version of your website that is optimized for China and the original version, which is stored somewhere else. Now, any changes you make to your main site will be tracked and made on the Chinese version as well.
“How Chinafy Works” has more information about how it all works.
Given China’s strong economic growth and huge online population, optimizing your website for the Chinese market can give you a lot of chances to grow and connect with people. By using a complete strategy that combines localization, technical skill, and respect for local norms, you can set up your Drupal website to connect with Chinese users and thrive in one of the world’s most dynamic digital environments. Ready to get your website ready for people in China? Let’s talk about how to make your Drupal site work well in China.
But if you’re looking for a company that builds websites with Drupal, you should check out Appic Softwares. Our team of expert Drupal developers can help you build and run your project.
So, what are you waiting for?