Optimizely does not work in China
Optimizely does not work in China

TLDR; Optimizely (aka Episerver) does not work in China. Websites built with Optimizely’s Digital Experience Platform load in 40+ seconds and have broken images and videos. Many Optimizely DXP sites are not even accessible in China. This article explains why Optimizely has poor performance in China and then provides you with the only solution to fix your existing Optimizely 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 Optimizely’s Digital Experience Platform (formerly known as Episerver) 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 Optimizely and if it works in Mainland China or not. Also, you can contact us to get a free speed test of your Optimizely or Episerver site for China.


What is Optimizely (aka Episerver)?

Episerver was a software company offering web content management, digital commerce, and digital marketing, through the Episerver Digital Experience Platform Cloud Service. In January 2021, Episerver announced that they were rebranding as Optimizely, a company they acquired in October, 2020.

Optimizely is one of the leading Digital Experience Platform (“DXP”) by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021.

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


Does Optimizely (Episerver) Work in China?

The short answer is no.

Optimizely statement on Does Optimizely work in China?
Optimizely statement on Does Optimizely work in China?


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

  1. Optimizely clearly states that they do not offer a presents within mainland China. However, they do offer a “near-China” presence with servers in Singapore. Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into how Optimizely’s “near-China” actually performs in mainland China.

  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 Optimizely site works in China.

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


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

There are two tests 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 10 websites from Optimizely’s Global Enterprise Customers and considered these websites to follow Optimizely’ 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)

Example of a fast website in China
Example of a fast website in China


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 businesses using Optimizely to power their sites.

 

Mazda, www.mazda.com

Mazda Motor Corporation (MZDAY) is a Japanese multinational automaker based in Fuchū, Hiroshima, Japan.

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

Mazda's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
Mazda'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 Mazda’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

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

Does the Mazda’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 Optimizely user’s websites.

 

Cuisinart, www.cuisinart.com

Cuisinart Corporation is a well-known manufacturer of small kitchen appliances. They manufacture and sell kitchen appliances worldwide.

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

Images on Cuisinart's website are not accessible in China
Images on Cuisinart'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 Cuisinart’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

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

Does the Cuisinart’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.




 

Burmax, www.burmax.com

The Burmax Company is a leading manufacturers, importers and distributors of professional beauty, barber, nail, and spa supplies.

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

Images on Burmax's website are not accessible in China
Images on Burmax's website are not 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 the Burmax’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.




 

University of South Australia, www.unisa.edu.au

The University of South Australia (UniSA) is a public research university in the Australian state of South Australia. It is a founding member of the Australian Technology Network of universities, and is the largest university in South Australia with approximately 32,000 students.

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

UniSA's websites speed test across China
UniSA's websites speed test across China

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

If you visit www.unisa.edu.au under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does UniSA’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.




 

Optimizely (Episerver), www.optimizely.com

For the final case study, lets take a look at Optimizely’s own website.

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

Optimizely's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
Optimizely'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 Optimizely’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit Opimizely's site under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Optimizely’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.




 

Carl Hansen & Søn, www.carlhansen.com

Carl Hansen & Søn is a family-owned Danish furniture company established in 1908. Carl Hansen & Søn is the company behind many classical furniture designs by leading figures of the Danish modern movement but the company is also collaborating with contemporary designers.

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

Carl Hansen & Søn's websites speed test across China
Carl Hansen & Søn's websites speed test across China

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

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

Does Carl Hansen & Søn’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.




 

Dot Foods, www.dotfood.com

Dot Foods is the largest foodservice redistribution company in the United States. Dot offers over 112,000 products from 830 food industry manufacturers.

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

Dot Foods's websites speed test across China
Dot Foods's websites speed test across China

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

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

Does Dot Foods’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.




 

Monterey Bay Aquarium, www.montereybayaquarium.org

Monterey Bay Aquarium is a nonprofit public aquarium in Monterey, California. Known for its regional focus on the marine habitats of Monterey Bay, it was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest when it opened in October 1984.

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

Monterey Bay Aquarium's websites speed test across China
Monterey Bay Aquarium's websites speed test across China

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

If you visit www.montereybayaquarium.org under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Monterey Bay Aquarium’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.




 

Goodwood, www.goodwood.com

Goodwood is England’s greatest sporting estate is home to three of the biggest sporting events in the world: the Festival of Speed, the Qatar Goodwood Festival and the Goodwood Revival.

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

Goodwood's websites speed test across China
Goodwood's websites speed test across China

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

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

Does Goodwood’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.




 

Water Environment Federation, www.wef.com

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a nonprofit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment. WEF members have proudly protected public health, served their local communities and supported clean water worldwide since 1928.

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

WEF's websites speed test across China
WEF's websites speed test across China

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

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

Does WEF’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.




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.