Acquia does not work in China
Acquia does not work in China

TLDR; Acquia doesn’t work in China. Websites built with Acquia CMS load in 45+ seconds and have broken images and videos. Many Acquia sites are not even accessible in China. This article explains why Acquia has poor performance in China and then provides you with the only solution to fix your existing Acquia site that is fully compliant with the laws in mainland China.


In this article, we will walk you through some speed tests we conducted to determine if Acquia works in China or not. Our staff conducted the tests in Shanghai (China Mainland) and Hong Kong (outside Mainland China) and we used 3rd party testing tools to ensure our tests weren’t biased.

By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of Acquia and if it works in Mainland China or not. Also, you can contact us to get a free speed test of your Acquia site for China.


What is Acquia?

Acquia is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company founded to provide enterprise products, services, and technical support for the open-source web content management (CMS) platform Drupal.

Aquia is one of the leading Digital Experience Platform (“DXP”) by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020.

Digital Experience Platform by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021
Digital Experience Platform by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021


Does Acquia Work in China?

The short answer is no.

Acquia's website states that their service is not available in China
Acquia's website states that their service is not available in China

Below is the long answer if you want to understand why:

  1. Acquia’s website states that their service does not work in China. Acquia relies on services like AWS to host their Drupal-powered platform. These western hosting providers do not work well in China, as we’ll see below.

  2. If your business doesn’t have any legal licenses for your site and content in China, it is operating illegally in China.

Luckily we have put together solutions to make your business and your Acquia site work in China.

Don’t just take our words. Let’s look at some popular websites powered by Acquia and see how well they work in China


How do we check if a website works in China or not?

There are two checks we need to perform to conclude if a website works in China.

  1. How fast is the site in Mainland China?
  2. Does the website operated by the business comply with the laws in China?

The second part of the test is a must for most businesses or organizations, not optional. If you are unsure why it’s a must, read Untold facts about ICP for China, and why you should get it.


Speed Tests Results

We picked 5 websites from Acquia’s Global Customers and considered these websites to follow Acquia’s best practices.

Then we follow the test questions mentioned earlier for each website and create a report with the following format:

1. A figure to see how fast the site performs across Mainland China.

This figure basically shows how fast the website loads across Mainland China (green = fast, red=slow)


2. A video to see the site’s performance in China visually.

We made a screen record of the website loading in Shanghai, China. This provides you with an intuitive way to see how fast the site visually loads and understand what people in China actually experience when they visit the website.


3. A yes-no check to see if the site complied with the laws in China.

If the site passes the legal check, it’s a green check. If it doesn’t pass, we will tell you why it doesn’t pass.

Now, let’s dive into the reports for each of the selected websites using Acquia.

 

UNICEF, www.unicef.com

UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children’s Fund, is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The agency operates in 192 countries and territories worldwide.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on the UNICEF’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

UNICEF's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
UNICEF's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses UNICEF’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.unifec.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

As you see in the video, UNICEF’s website would not fully load in Shanghai.

Does the UNICEF’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.

Finding if a website has an ICP license is pretty straightforward, just scroll to the bottom of the page, if you see a number like this (see below Nike’s websites for China), then the business behind the website has an ICP for China. If not, they don’t have it. You can check if your website has it or not.

Below is an example of Nike’s website in China, and its ICP number.

Nike's ICP Number for China
Nike's ICP Number for China





Similarly, we ran the same tests for the rest of the selected Acquia user’s websites.

 

Moderna, www.modernatx.com

Moderna (MRNA), is a US pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Moderna is well known for bringing one of the first COVID-19 vaccines to the market.

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening them on Moderna’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Images on Moderna's website are not accessible in China
Images on Moderna's website are not accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses Moderna’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.modernatx.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does the Moderna’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

Ocean Network Express, www.one-line.com

Ocean Network Express Holdings, Ltd. (ONE) is a Japanese container transportation and shipping company that ships goods world wide.

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty opening on ONE’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Images on ONE's global website are not accessible in China
Images on ONE's global website are not accessible in China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses ONE’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.one-line.com under China network conditions, you see above

Does the Ocean Network Express’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the international website does not have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

The Singapore Institute of Technology, www.singaporetech.edu.sg

The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is Singapore’s first university of applied learning.

From our speed test, people in China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening SIT’s global website (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

SIT's speed test across China
SIT's speed test across China

Here is a more intuitive way to see it, we screen-recorded the process when a user browses SIT’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.singaporetech.edu.sg under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Singapore Institute of Technology’s website comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




 

Acquia , www.acquia.com

For our last case study, lets take a look at Acquia’s own website page.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on the Acquia’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Acquia's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
Acquia's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China

To see the site load in action, here is what a normal user would see in China:

The website cannot be reached by the user
The website cannot be reached by the user

Since the website cannot be reached by the user in China, we don’t provide a screen recorded video, even if we did, you will only see a blank screen like the above image.

Does Acquia’s websites comply with the laws in China?

No. It doesn’t pass our legal check because the website does not even have an ICP license at the footer of their website.

If you don’t know what an ICP license is, click here to learn more.




In short, if your business is going to China, make sure your website passes the two tests we mentioned above to have a fast speed of first load and good viewing and browsing quality for your users in China.

Reducing page load time by 0.1 seconds will increase the conversion rate by 8%.

Google, Deloitte

If you need help going to China, please contact us, we are happy to help.


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