SSW Foursquare

Rules to Better Internationalization - 21 Rules

Want to bring your applications into the Chinese market? Check SSW's Chinafy consulting page.

  1. Do you know why you should Chinafy your app?

    China is a booming market and now is the time to take advantage of this growing user base. If you have a successful application you should bring it to the Chinese market.

    Most Chinese consumers will not make a purchase or use your application if information is not easily available in Chinese.


    You can grow and target your audience better using the local social media networks

    You should ensure your application works in China, and that critical application resources are not blocked by the firewall

    You should integrate with local services (such as video streaming)

    Localizing for the market is not just translation

  2. Do you know how to better localize your application?

    Localization makes your web application ready to work more than one language — and it’s much easier if you do it from the beginning. Just follow these tips to better localize your application for a specific country or region.

    SSW Link Auditor Chinafy
    Figure: SSW LinkAuditor application is available in Chinese

  3. Do you set your application default language to automatically change to local language?

    If you are localizing your web application to make it available in a varitety of languages, it's better to set your application default language to automatically change to local language. e.g. Make the web application default language as same as the browser language.

    In order to use your web application in your preferred language, simply set that language in your browser, save/apply the new settings and then launch your application.

    DefaultLanguage Figure: Detect your users language preference and display in that language.

  4. Do you always give the user an option to change the locale?

    Localization because absolutely needed when your application has to be shown to people in many countries. To make your application more friendly, it's very important to always give the user a option to change the locale (e.g. by adding locale dropdown menu on page) and remember this choice for the future visits. e.g. To change the language for your application, you can simply choose the new language from the language dropdown.

    Facebook Like pages
    Figure: Give the user an option to change the locale.

  5. Do you use client-side tools for localization as much as possible?

    With the increasing use of JavaScript on the client and HTML5, client-side localization is fast becoming a necessity for displaying messages, text, and resources localized for the user's culture. You can use client-side tools for localization as much as possible so that for the most part, the back end of your service remains unchanged. e.g. If you are using AngularJS, then use the Angular Translate plugin.

    Angular Localization
    Figure: Using Angular Translate plugin for localization

  6. Do you provide numerous comments in application resources that define context?

    Knowing the context and use of certain strings will help translators choose the right translation from the beginning when you localize your web application to make it available in a variety of languages. Most translation tools will allow translators to see these comments as they translate the strings. To make your comments more friendly, it's better to list in the comment field where this text is used. e.g.

    • Text
    • Validation
    • Tooltip
    • Textbox Placeholder

    Localization Commonts
    Figure: Use the comment field in the resx to tell you where it is used

  7. Chinafy - Do you manage 3rd party dependencies?

    Modern websites can use 3rd party dependencies from many different sources. This can include js and CSS libraries from CDNs, video providers such as YouTube and other 3rd party APIs.

    Many of these services are completely blocked inside other countries. China, in particular, currently blocks all the below:

    • Facebook
    • Google
    • YouTube
    • Vimeo
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn

    Although China is the most well-known country for blocking sites, other countries also block services - like Google (e.g. Iran, Syria) and YouTube (e.g. Pakistan, Syria).

    social media blocked
    Figure: Blocked sites


    If the runtime operation of your site depends upon these services, your website will either fail or perform poorly for users in China. Start by reviewing how many of these services are essential, what they do and whether there are China-based equivalents. The fewer external dependencies in your site, the easier it will be to Chinafy.

    Every attempted request to a blocked service can add serious delays to your site's performance as each one can take over a minute to timeout. When loading a page, browsers have a limit on the number of simultaneous connections they will open. Google Chrome, for example, will support 6 connections to one domain and 10 connections overall. If all those connections get used attempting to connect to blocked resources, the entire page loading process can stall for minutes!

    To measure the impact of this, you need to be able to browse the website from inside China. From there you can open the site and collect performance measurements from the network tab of your browser's dev tools.

    Figure: Bad example - This browser in China was stalled attempting to load resources from Facebook, Google, and YouTube

    This situation can first be improved by finding and removing unnecessary dependencies. Next, ensure that all required CSS and JavaScript content can be loaded, by either hosting within your site or using a CDN that is available from China.

    Finally, you may find that there are features you still want to use elsewhere but need to disable for users in China. In this case, we recommend detecting the available services from the client.

    For more information, see Do you detect service availability from the client?

  8. Do you detect service availability from the client?

    Some countries (especially the People's Republic of China) strictly control access to various international web services. You can use service detection to determine whether particular services are available and fall-back gracefully or use alternative providers.

    As well as from inside China, another common place where access to third-party services may be blocked is from behind corporate firewalls.

    First, read this rule: Do you manage your 3rd party dependencies?. You should always start by carefully managing the number of 3rd party services and dependencies your application or website depends on.

    There are two ways to determine service availability, these are:

    Option 1: Geolocation

    You can use geolocation based on client IP to determine what services are available but this has a number of disadvantages.:

    • Unpredictability Geolocation based on IP is never perfect Geo-location lookup services are not perfect. here's an example: if you use the guest internet in the Microsoft offices, the internet thinks you are outside Australia (Singapore).
      This approach won't detect services that have been blocked by a company firewall.
    • Maintenance overhead You need to maintain lists of locations and what services are available there - which may be subject to change (however not very often) The list of services allowed/blocked by the "great firewall of china" is a moving target. things get blocked and unblocked all the time with little warning. we would have to keep coming back to the site to test. So there would be an overhead maintaining lists of countries and the services they allow.
    • Extra dependency - using IP address requires taking a dependency on an extra third-party service to perform the geo-location lookups.

    For these reasons, dynamic service detection is recommended in preference to solutions based on geo-location.

    Option 2: Check Connectivity

    Universality - China is not the only place that blocks stuff. there are other countries to consider. Also many corporate firewalls block stuff. actively detecting access to a service from the client handles all these scenarios at runtime with no prior configuration.

    SSW has created a simple Service Detection library for exactly this purpose called SSW Service Detector. This is open source and available from GitHub:SSW Service Detector.

    This Service Detector works by attempting to download the Favicon.ico file from the website for each service you want to use. These favicon files are small, so if a service is available, the file will download very quickly. If a service is blocked, the connection could take a long time to timeout on its own. In this situation, the service detector uses a 1.5-second timer to attempt the download and will cancel the request after this time so that these connection attempts fail quickly and don't block the entire page.

    BlockedDependencies 1710232021933
    Figure Bad Example: Attempted requests to Facebook, Google, and Youtube from China took a long time to timeout, adding significant delays to the rendering of this page

    SSW ServiceDetector
    Figure: Good Example - Only 4 errors on F12 in China. Using SSW.ServiceDetector, there were only short, canceled requests raised to blocked services. The site was then able to fall-back gracefully for some services and load YouKu for videos


    If, for example, your site displays videos, you can detect that YouTube is not available in China and embed YouKu videos instead.Both these options require service detection to operate properly. Remember that attempting to connect to a blocked service from China could take a long time to timeout, potentially adding significant loading times to your site.

    Solution 1: Remove the content


    Solution 2: Provide an alternative to the blocked service


  9. Do you use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

    If your site takes too long to load, there is a high chance your users will not wait for it to finish loading and abandon viewing it. It is therefore important that we use techniques to make pages load as quickly as possible. One of these techniques is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce the network latency for delivering pages, images, javascript and CSS libraries to users. This results in faster page load times and a better experience for your users.

    What is a CDN?

    CDN is short for a Content Delivery Network. It is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver pages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server.

    Why use a CDN?

    A website may be hosted in a particular region, but have the majority of its users coming from an entirely different region – for example, if your site is hosted in North America, GTmetrix(A free tool that analyzes your page's speed performance) might report fast speeds based on our default test location, but if a good chunk of your users come from China, their speed will not be as fast as you experience it to be.Using a CDN can improve your user’s experience in terms of speed, and as we know – speed matters!Ensuring a consistent experience for all your users is important.CDNs not only ensure a faster experience to your users, but they also help to prevent site crashes in the event of traffic surges – CDNs help to distribute bandwidth across multiple servers, instead of allowing one server to handle all traffic.

    How to choose a CDN?

    When selecting a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for your website, you face the challenge of ensuring robust edge-level redirects and effective caching to speed up your site. Unfortunately, not all CDNs provide these functionalities seamlessly, making it difficult to find one that meets these critical needs.

    Front Door as Your CDN

    Front Door is a good option, but it has some notable downsides regarding redirects and caching that you should be aware of:

    ✅ Pros:

    • Easy Integration: Seamlessly integrates with other Azure services.
    • Flexible Origin Handling: Better handling for origin groups on a route level (e.g., /people can be hosted on a different server).

    ❌ Cons:

    • Limited Redirects: Front Door restricts bulk redirects with a limit of 800 resources per resource group.
    • Time-Consuming Deployments: Deployments using Bicep can take a long time, sometimes up to hours.
    • Lack of Flexibility: It doesn’t offer much flexibility for custom redirects, such as using regular expressions.
    • Painful Cache Purging: Cache purging can be unreliable and can take up to 15 minutes.
    • High Costs: It is quite expensive compared to other CDNs.

    To overcome these issues, we can use Cloudflare.


    Cloudflare is known for its Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) protection and Web Application Firewall (WAF), along with a host of other options.

    ✅ Pros:

    • Easy Deployment: Simple deployment through Wrangler. (it takes a few seconds to deploy workers)
    • Flexible Redirects: More flexible in handling bulk and customizable redirects using Cloudflare Workers.
    • Enhanced Security: Provides better WAF protection and secure DDoS mitigation.
    • Cost-Effective: Much cheaper than other CDNs.
    • Efficient Caching: Better caching options.
    • Instant Cache Purging: Offers an instant purging option for caches.

    ❌ Cons:

    • No built-in integration with Azure Services

    Also consider where your user base is located and which CDN providers support those locations. For example, some CDNs are not fast or reliable when accessed from China (due to the Great Firewall).

    Which CDNs work well from China?

    1. (recommended)
    7. (Cloudflare’s China Service)

    Which ones do not work well from China?


    5 28 4
    Figure: Bad example, jquery.min.js from GoogleAPIs failed to load

    5 28 5
    Figure: Good example, jquery.min.js from CDNJS isn't block and is very fast

  10. Do you know you to handle redirects?

    When migrating your old website to a new technology stack, maintaining SEO and avoiding potential 404 errors is crucial. Implementing redirects ensures smooth traffic transition and preserves your SEO rankings.

    Choosing the Right Redirect Method

    1. Application Level

    Client-Side Redirects: Easy but poor for SEO and maintenance. Migrating pages in the future would make this approach cumbersome.

    Server-Side Application: A dedicated web app can handle redirects, but maintenance and scalability become challenging over time.

    2. CDN Level (Global)

    Edge Level Redirects: Ideal for global distribution and ease of management. Solutions like Azure Front Door or Cloudflare can be effective.

    ❌ Azure Front Door

    ✅ Cloudflare Workers

    • Offers customizable redirects through scripts hosted within Cloudflare CDN.
    • Cost-effective and straightforward to deploy using Wrangler CLI.
    • Efficiently manage hundreds of redirects without delays.

    For a seamless migration and efficient redirect management, leveraging a CDN-level solution like Cloudflare Workers is recommended.

  11. Do you add multilingual support (Angular)?

    How to implement multilingual support in an Angular project?

    There are several ways of implementing multilingual support in an Angular project, the following libraries are popular:

    Internationalization (i18n): the standard Angular built-in module to help the application dealing with multilingual. It creates multiple language versions of your application.

    ngx-translate: a library enhanced the Angular built-in feature, it supports not only template translations but can also be used in the code by APIs.

    angular-gettext: the simplest powerful 3rd party library providing translation support to Angular.

    The following table shows the pros and cons of the 3 libraries:

    Pros (+)Cons (-)
    Internationalization (i18n)
    • Better support of displaying dates,
    • Better support for handling plural forms of words, and alternative text.
    • It only works with one language at a time, you have to completely reload the application to change the language
    • Only support translation in the template (by using HTML tag)
    • You need to build + deploy every time you make a change to the language, and you have to have a separate folder every time.
    • You can see the language in the URL.
    • It provides more powerful API support
    • It supports JSON files by default to store the translation resources
    • It doesn’t provide good support for plural forms and dates.
    • Ngx-translate will stop its releases when angular built-in modules catch up with the ngx-translate features.
    • The developer said that when Angular i18n catches up the library will be deprecated. Check article.
    angular- gettext
    • The simplest library to deal with multilingual.
    • Supports plural handling in different languages.
    • It compiles the translations during the compiling period, which doesn’t support the change of translation at any time.
    • Only supports AngularJS

    Ngx-translate provides the APIs which you can use to translate the resources in the code:

    code 1

    code 2

    By comparing the 3 libraries we can see ngx-translate provides the best functionality now due to the API support, even though the built-in i18n module will catch up at a certain time, but we still recommend using ngx-translate for multilingual support in your Angular application.

    The future…

    Since Angular 9, they now have built-in support for i18n which is called Angular Localized, it is expected that over time, Angular Localize will become the most popular (see the yellow line on Google Trends increase).

    angular trends
    Figure: It is expected that the yellow line will become the dominant internationalization tool for Angular

  12. Do you avoid reviewing performance without metrics?

    If a client says:

    "This application is too slow, I don't really want to put up with such poor performance. Please fix."

    We don't jump in and look at the code and clean it up and reply with something like:

    "I've looked at the code and cleaned it up - not sure if this is suitable - please tell me if you are OK with the performance now."

    A better way is:

    • Ask the client to tell us how slow it is (in seconds) and how fast they ideally would like it (in seconds)
    • Add some code to record the time the function takes to run
    • Reproduce the steps and record the time
    • Change the code
    • Reproduce the steps and record the time again
    • Reply to the customer: "It was 22 seconds, you asked for around 10 seconds. It is now 8 seconds."

    Code Auditor performance
    Figure: Good example – Add some code to check the timing, before fixing any performance issues (An example from SSW Code Auditor)

    Also, never forget to do incremental changes in your tests!

    For example, if you are trying to measure the optimal number of processors for a server, do not go from 1 processor to 4 processors at once:

    Figure: Bad Example - Going from 1 to 4 all at once gives you incomplete measurements and data

    Do it incrementally, adding 1 processor each time, measuring the results, and then adding more:

    Figure: Good Example - Going from 1 to 2, then measuring, then incrementally adding one more, measuring...

    This gives you the most complete set of data to work from.

    This is because performance is an emotional thing, sometimes it just *feels* slower. Without numbers, a person cannot really know for sure whether something has become quicker. By making the changes incrementally, you can be assured that there aren’t bad changes canceling out the effect of good changes.


    For sample code on how to measure performance, please refer to rule Do you have tests for Performance? on Rules To Better Unit Tests.

  13. Do you use Gzip?

    Gzip is a file format and a software application used for file compression and decompression.Gzip can reduce file size and storage space, and reduce transmission time when transferring files over the network. It runs on both Linux and Windows.

    Use PageSpeed Insights extension in Chrome to determine if your site will benefit from using Gzip.

    For more information about how to use PageSpeed to find which files on your site would benefit from being compressed with Gzip see Do you use PageSpeed?

    3 ways to add Gzip compression to your site:

    Use one of the methods described below to add Gzip compression to your site ASP.Net/Angular website

    Method 1: Turn on "Dynamic Content Compression" In IIS Server

    use gzip 2
    Figure: Choose the website which you want to use Gzip and click on Compression

    use gzip 3
    Figure: Install "dynamic content compression" if you haven't installed it

    In Control Panel navigate to All Control Panel Items | Programs and Features, and click Turn Windows features on or off. Choose Internet Information Services | Web Management Tools | World Wide Web Services | Performance Features | Dynamic Content Compression.

    use gzip 4
    Figure: Click "OK" to install it

    use gzip 5
    Figure: Enable dynamic content compression for your site

    Method 2: Using “Gzipper” in your Angular website

    Follow (but it still need IIS Server enable static content compression). Using npm i gzipper -g to install "gzipper" first. Add to scripts in your package.json use gzip 7

    use gzip 6
    Figure: "Finish configuration like that

    Method 3: Using ASP.NET code in MVC

    Refer to Improve the Performance of ASP.NET MVC Web Application Using HTTP Compression.

    To implement this in ASP.NET MVC, we can utilize ActionFilterAttribute and override either OnActionExecuting or OnResultExecuting method. The below code snippet is being used to check whether the current request browser can accept GZIP/DEFLATE encoding by looking at Accept-Encoding request header. If it finds GZIP encoding in this header, then we would set gzip in Content-encoding in response header and if it supports DEFLATE, then this code would set deflate in Content-encoding.

    using System;
    using System.IO.Compression;
    using System.Web.Mvc;
    namespace HTTPCompression.ActionFilters;
    public class CompressAttribute : ActionFilterAttribute
        public override void OnResultExecuting(ResultExecutingContext filterContext)
            HttpRequestBase request = filterContext.HttpContext.Request;
            string acceptEncoding = request.Headers["Accept-Encoding"];
            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(acceptEncoding)) return;
            acceptEncoding = acceptEncoding.ToUpperInvariant();
            HttpResponseBase response = filterContext.HttpContext.Response;
            if (acceptEncoding.Contains("GZIP"))
                response.AppendHeader("Content-encoding", "gzip");
                response.Filter = new GZipStream(response.Filter, CompressionMode.Compress);
            else if (acceptEncoding.Contains("DEFLATE"))
                response.AppendHeader("Content-encoding", "deflate");
                response.Filter = new DeflateStream(response.Filter, CompressionMode.Compress);
    public ActionResult About() 
       ViewBag.Message = "Your application description"; 
       return View(); 

    Figure: Bad example - Files with large size and slow load time

    5 28 7
    Figure: Good example - Gzipped files with smaller size and faster load time

  14. Chinafy - Do you know those English words are OK in China?

    If you are localizing your application to China, some of the English words are commonly used in China. Instead of translating a word to Chinese bluntly, you should keep them in English.

    Here is a list of English words which are OK to use on your user interface:

    • OK
    • APP
    • FAQ
    • VS
    • V1, V2 (Version 1, Version2)
    • ID
    • VR
    • AI
    • 3D

    microsoft download site

    Figure: Good Example - Microsoft's Chinese software downloading site use "FAQ" on the main menu

    sugarlearning cn site

    Figure: Good Example - site use "FAQ" on the main menu


    Figure: Good Example - Apps keep "V" or "Version" in English


    Figure: Good Example - iOS keep "ID" in English

  15. Do you pick a Chinese name?

    You should pick a Chinese name for your app or product when going to China market. Here is how you should chose it:

    Option 1: Use the same sound

    E.g. LinkedIn > Lingying (leadership, elite)E.g. SugarLearning – Sugar  > Xue Ge  >  雪鸽(Snow Pigeon )

    Option 2: Use the same meaning

    E.g. Microsoft, Micro & Soft  ›  Wei & Ruan  ›  Weiruan  ›  微软

    Warning:  Be careful with meanings.  Mercedes Benz  originally could be "Bensi" ("rush to die" in Chinese); so they changed to "Benchi" ("run quickly", like flying)

  16. Do you use PageSpeed?

    PageSpeed can analyze the performance of your webpages and get specific suggestions on how to optimize them.

    How to install PageSpeed?

    Install PageSpeed from Chrome web store.

    Figure: Install PageSpeed Insights (with PNaCl)

    How to use PageSpeed?

    In Developer Tools (F12), you will have a new tab named PageSpeed.

    use pageSpeed
    Figure: Start your PageSpeed by clicking "Analyze"

    The result of the analysis will be displayed in the PageSpeed tab.

    compressed result
    Figure: Some files can be compressed more than 80%

  17. Do you know how to use social media for international campaigns?

    Promoting your application and business via social media can be extremely beneficial, not only for promoting a business but for feedback from customers as well. To help implement social media campaigns, try these tips:

    • Target platforms for the countries in which you’ll have either e-commerce or on-the-ground presence. e.g. Facebook/Qzone, Twitter/Weibo.
    • Understand the specific social media websites and craft the message for each language. Always localize, don’t just translate. Google Translate just isn't good enough, always give it to a native speaker to translate.
    • Don't make the text longer than what the shortest supported is (usually Twitter which is 140 characters).
    • Studies show that posts with an image get more traction.
    • Post it to the English site.
    • Then post it to the Chinese site.
    • Great, now you are ready to post to all of the social media platforms simultaneously.

    Figure: Make sure that your social media presence covers the countries you have translated your application into. E.g. Link Auditor on Weibo (A local social media, China’s Twitter replacement)

    We have a service called SSW Chinafy that can help you get started following this rule.

  18. Do you know how to use Social Media effectively in China?

    The biggest mistake most western companies make when embarking on a business journey in China, is assuming that their current Social Media strategies will work over there.

    China is different. There are different rules, platforms and of course, they have a government controlled firewall that blocks many western platforms your are familiar with, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. *Uh oh*. That's right - none of the platforms you currently use everyday now work in China, you need a new plan.

    China has a huge amount of social media users, there are over 911 million active users - which is huge! In comparison, the U.S.A only have 207 million users, a small fraction compared to China. It is a huge opportunity for market growth, particularly for app owners who would like to expand their product to millions of users.

    DigitalInChina 1024x576
    Figure: According to Social Media experts Hootsuite, there are 911 million active social media users (yellow), 65% of the overall population (red)

    There is one big problem - the digital market in China also has hundreds of social media platform options. With no big platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to focus on, so who do you target? The biggest platforms in China are WeChat (instant messaging and social media), Baidu (similar to Google search engine), Weibo (like Facebook and Twitter combined), Youku (similar to YouTube)… but there are others that are now trending.

    However while we often try to draw comparisons with these platforms with their western counterparts, be aware that even though these Chinese platforms may take the basic concepts and functions from the West, they are equipped with much more diverse features.

    Do you know the best platforms to use in China? Here is a list of our top 5:

    1. WeChat (The Chinese Super App)

    WeChat started as an instant messaging app similar to WhatsApp but has morphed into a ‘super app’ that now allows you to do just about anything! Users can perform a wide variety of activities such as making transactions, ordering food, booking movie tickets, calling a taxi, even playing games. It now has more than 1 billion active users.

    We chat
    Figure: Taken from - the Graph shows how much WeChat is growing every year. WeChat is now one of the most popular, well rounded apps available in China, growing in popularity every year

    Why you should consider using it:

    • 68M videos are uploaded every day
    • WeChat users send averagely 38 billion messages daily
    • On average, users spend more than 66 minutes on WeChat daily.
    • 60% of WeChat users open the app more than 10 times a day.
    • By the end of 2019, the number of WeChat’s Official Accounts surpassed 20M.
    • Flexible media – you can upload pictures, text, short videos, articles etc.

    There are 4 types of Official WeChat Accounts; “Subscription Accounts”, “Service Accounts", “Enterprise Accounts" and the “Mini Program”. Each of them has unique functions and uses, which are outlined in more detail on creating a WeChat official account.

    WeChat Mini Program
    Figure: SSW's SugarLearning WeChat Mini Program Log-in page & Mini Program

    2. Weibo (The Facebook of China)

    Weibo is an social media platform where people go not only post, share and interact with each other, but also follow trends and see the news. This is the place for content to go viral and for Chinese Influences, known as KOLs, to build their online communities. Like Facebook Live, It has its own live stream platform which is often used for product promotion. Conveniently it also has E-commerce integration which mean that people can link their accounts to Alipay and purchase products with one click.

    Why you should consider using it:

    • Number of Weibo active users: 465M (2019)
    • Number of daily users: 203M (2019)
    • 50% increase in livestream sessions
    • Q&A postings increased by 400% in 2018 compared to 2017
    • 82 per cent of Weibo users shop online

    3. Youku (The YouTube of China)

    Often referred to as the YouTube of China, Youku is a video hosting service that is great for long-form videos. While there are popular short-form video platforms, like Tik Tok, Youku has remained the popular source of videos for people who want to gain greater knowledge in a subject, or to watch the news.

    Why you should consider using it:

    • 580M active users, who on average visit it daily 39 times.
    • Over 1 billion video views per day
    • On average people stay for around 4 minutes per video
    • It will help you reach a wider audience and build a reputation as a source of knowledge
    • It’s great for brand awareness via video content
    • It can be used to drive traffic to your website and increase sales

    Figure: Youku would have a very familiar feel for our Western audience as seen from this video feed

    4. Baidu (The Google Search of China)

    93% of online experiences in the Western world begin with a Google Search. In China it is search engine Baidu that dominates with 90% of online search starting there. That’s *billions* of searches per month!

    Why you should use it:

    • It’s cheaper than Google! Strangely it is on average 25-50% cheaper for the same keywords on Google*.
    • It has 665 million active monthly users
    • Reaches 1 billion mobile devises
    • The Baidu app has 200 million daily users
    • Rapidly growing with new users every day

    * The Cost per click is lower but be warned - Baidu does have some strict payment terms, requiring an initial deposit of at least RMB 20,000 (USD $2,952) if you are a foreign company. But the overall cost of your campaign should be comparatively lower.

    Figure: A search for 'SSW' using Baidu, we are organically No 1 on this page

    5. Bilibili (Up & coming alternate to Youku)

    We all know that the best marketers are using video to sell their products and directly engage their audience online. Brands should not overlook the usefulness of branded online video for their audience. Similar to how YouTube experiences huge popularity in the West, China’s video platforms such as Youku and iQiyi are successful with the local Chinese audience. But one live streaming platform that is often overlooked is the video-sharing platform Bilibili.

    What started as a China's largest Anime streaming platform, it has grown to be one of the most popular video sharing platforms for China’s Millennials and Generation Z with over 100 million monthly active users, where users can view, submit, and add commentary to videos.

    Bilibili also recently launched a premium membership enabling access to special shows, e-commerce deals, and HQ video streaming. If you want to increase your long-term success in China, it is important to penetrate Gen-Z consumers who have an expanding purchasing power. Bilibili, uses mini programs (multi-page application containing a complete application feature), livestreaming, and e-commerce to benefit brands looking to market to younger consumers.

    bilibili user growth
    Figure: Bilibili is continuously growing it's audience becoming a great place to host videos and advertize

    According to Bilibili's annual report to investors, their top 5 most watched video categories are:

    1. Entertainment
    2. Lifestyle
    3. Gaming
    4. Anime
    5. Technology

    Technology videos are now in the top 5 most watched category on Bilbili, and SSW China have discovered that Bilibili is a great platform to live stream and record our Fire User Group, with over 300 viewers joining us online to share our technology talks.

    Why you should use it:

    FireUg Bilbili
    Figure: A recent recording from FireUG, “Intermediaries design patterns and MediatR” by Victor Yu, SSW China

  19. Chinafy - Do you know about ICP filing?

    If you want to deploy your App to China and you want to use a domain name to access it, ICP filing is required. ICP requires some paperwork to prove the domain belongs to you.

    ICP (Internet Content Provider) filing is for non-commercial websites that are purely informational and provide information free of charge. It shows as 浙 ICP 备 20009588 号, "浙" represents Zhejiang.

    It typically includes the following:

    • The website owner must be a resident or enterprise of mainland China.
    • The website owner needs to provide valid identification and contact information.
    • The website's content must comply with the Chinese government's censorship standards and may not disseminate illegal or harmful information.
    • The website needs to display the ICP filing number on the website for verification by users and government agencies.

    Related term:

    Figure: Display the ICP filing number on bottom of website and link to

    Figure: The website will be redirected to the exception page without ICP filing

  20. Chinafy - Do you know about ICP licenses?

    ICP (Internet Content Provider) license is for commercial websites, which covers any website which may derive direct income from providing online advertising, text, images, audio, video, apps, etc. or providing information search services, information community platform, instant messaging services, or information protection services.

    According to the regulation (Administrative Measures for Internet Information Services), commercial websites must obtain an ICP license, including the following types of websites:

    • E-commerce websites
    • Online payment platforms
    • Online travel platforms
    • Online education platforms
    • Online media websites (including news, audio and video, blogs, etc.)
    • Online social media websites
    • Online gaming platforms
    • Other websites that provide Internet information services

    Figure: Amazon China obtained an ICP license

  21. Chinafy - Do you know the terms of the Cross-border data transfer?

    On 7 July 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (the CAC) released the long-awaited final version of its Measures for Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfers. These Measures will apply to relevant businesses which are looking to transfer data from China to overseas. The Measures take effect on 1 September 2022. A grace period of six months applies for cross-border transfers carried out before the effective date.

    When does a business need to submit to a mandatory security assessment by the CAC?

    If any of the following criteria are met, a business must submit to a mandatory security assessment by the CAC before it can transfer data out of China:

    • The business is transferring important data out of China
    • The business is transferring personal information out of China by:

      • CIIO (Critical Information Infrastructure Operators)
      • Data processor who processes the personal information of 1 million individuals or more.
    • The business has transferred out of China since 1 January of the previous year:

      • The personal information of more than 100,000 individuals
      • The sensitive personal information of more than 10,000 individuals

    The CAC may also impose or identify other circumstances in which a security assessment is required.

    What is "Important Data"?

    In Measures of Security Assessment for Cross-Border Data Transfer, important data refers to data that if it is altered, destroyed, leaked, illegally acquired or illegally used, etc., may harm national security, economic operations, social stability, public health or security, etc. (art. 19)

    Who is classified as a Critical Information Infrastructure Operators?

    In Regulations on the Security and Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, CIIO is defined as companies engaged in "important industries or fields", including:

    • Public communication and information services;
    • Energy;
    • Transport;
    • Water;
    • Finance;
    • Public services;
    • E-government services;
    • National defense; and
    • Any other important network facilities or information systems that may seriously harm national security, the national economy and people’s livelihoods, or public interest in the event of incapacitation, damage, or data leaks.

    What's meaning of personal information and sensitive personal information?

    According to The PRC Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL)

    Personal information

    Personal information refers to various kinds of information related to identified or identifiable natural persons recorded by electronic or other means, excluding the information processed anonymously. (PIPL art. 4)

    Sensitive Personal information

    Sensitive personal information refers to the personal information that can easily lead to the infringement of the personal dignity or natural persons or the harm of personal or property safety once leaked or illegally used, including such information as biometrics, religious belief, specific identities, medical health, financial accounts, whereabouts, or the personal information of minors under the age of 14. (PIPL art. 28)

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