Salesforce Commerce Cloud does not work in China
Salesforce Commerce Cloud does not work in China

TLDR; Salesforce Commerce Cloud doesn’t work out-of-the-box in China in 2022. Websites built with Salesforce Commerce Cloud load in 40+ seconds, and customers can’t even complete a purchase. Many Salesforce Commerce Cloud stores are not even accessible in mainland China. This article explains why Salesforce Commerce Cloud has poor performance in China and then provides a solution to make your Salesforce Commerce Cloud store available 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 Salesforce Commerce Cloud 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 understand whether or not Salesforce Commerce Cloud works in mainland China. Also, you can contact us to get a free speed test of your Salesforce Commerce Cloud site for China.


What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a highly scalable, cloud-based commerce platform. It was named a leading digital commerce platform by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021.

Digital Commerce Platform by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021
Digital Commerce Platform by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2021


Does Salesforce Commerce Cloud Work out-of-the-box-in-China?

The short answer is no. Before I dig into the long answer, let’s answer some frequently asked questions that we’ve got asked by our clients:


Is Salesforce blocked in China?

No. It’s not blocked but performs poorly. See below for ten beautiful websites that perform badly in mainland China.


Does Salesforce have a data center in China?

No. Let’s read a direct quote from the Salesforce blog:

Salesforce currently has no data centers in China; the data centers used by customers there are remote, sometimes an entire hemisphere away.

Salesforce blog: Technical Challenges for Business in China


Is Salesforce available in China?

No, Salesforce is no longer available in China.

Salesforce China
announces dissolution
Salesforce China announces dissolution

On August 3, 2022, Salesforce China and Alibaba Cloud announced they would end their partnership. This announcement ended the short, three-year collaboration between between the two tech heavyweights.


Here is the long version of why Salesforce sites don’t work in China alone:

Your Salesforce sites have no China-side CDNs by default. Note that Global CDN does not include China. Your Salesforce is likely to host with AWS unless you have purchased the China-Alibaba version separately.

We conducted speed tests within mainland China around many enterprise sites to give you proof of what most salesforce sites are like in mainland China.

Another core reason many high-tech companies fail to get into mainland China is missing legal permits. If your business doesn’t have legal licenses for your site and content in China, your store is operating illegally in China.

Luckily we have put together solutions for you to help your business and your Salesforce Commerce Cloud storefront work in China. Don’t just take our words. Let’s look at some websites powered by Salesforce Commerce Cloud and see how it performs in mainland China.


How do we check how a store performs in China?

We perform two tests 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.


What Salesforce sites did we test?

We picked ten websites from Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s Global Customers and considered these websites to follow the best practices powered by Salesforce.


What will you see in our report?


1. A figure of how fast the site performs in mainland China

Below is the perfect example (green = fast, red=slow). If the site performs poorly in China, you will see a map full of reds or oranges.

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


2. A video clip on how the site loads in mainland China.

The purpose of this video clip is to show you how the site performs within mainland China’s network. If you are outside China, or you don’t have a team or a point of contact in China, you will have difficulty visually seeing how the site performs.

We screen-record how the website load on a MacBook pro in Shanghai, China. Yes, you read it right, and it’s a straight-screen record direct from our laptop.

We hope to give you the first-person angle to see it live to visually understand how sites perform within the Great Fire Wall in mainland China.

Below is an example video clip of when visitors open www.puma.com in China.

Example: a clip to show what visitors open www.puma.com in China


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

The purpose of this check is to show you whether the sites have the essential legit permits to display content in mainland China.

If the website passes the legal assessment, it’s a green check. We will tell you why it doesn’t pass if it doesn’t pass.


Now, let’s dive into the reports for each of the selected websites:

 

Godiva, www.godiva.com

Godiva is a Belgian premium Chocolate maker with a presence in over 100 countries worldwide.

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

Godiva.com performs poorly in China.
Godiva.com performs poorly in China.

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

If you visit Godiva under China network conditions, you will see this.

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

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its 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, and 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 no for China

Nike's ICP no for China
Nike's ICP no for China





Similarly, we ran the same tests for the rest of the Salesforce customer’s websites.

 

Boggi Milano, www.boggi.com

Boggi Milano is a global men’s fashion brand based in Italy.

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

Images on Boggi Milano's website are not accessible in China.
Images on Boggi Milano's website are not accessible in China.

To see it in action, here is what a normal user would see in China:

If you visit Boggi Milano's site under China network conditions, you will see this.

As you see in the video, the site takes about 10 seconds to load in Shanghai fully.

Does the Boggi Milanos website comply with the laws in China?

No, and it doesn’t pass our legal check because the business does not even have an ICP license at the footer of its website.

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




 

Columbia Sportswear, www.columbia.com

The Columbia Sportswear Company is an American company that manufactures and distributes outerwear, sportswear, footwear, camping equipment, ski apparel, and outerwear accessories.

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

Images on Columbia's global website are not accessible in China.
Images on Columbia'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 Columbia’s website in Shanghai. Click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.columbia.com under China network conditions, you see above.

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

No, and it doesn’t pass our legal check because the international webpage does not have an ICP license at the footer of its website.

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




 

Puma, www.puma.com

Puma is the third largest sportswear manufacturer in the world. They design and manufacture athletic and casual footwear, apparel, and accessories based in Germany.

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

Puma.com's speed test across China.
Puma.com's speed test across China.

When we screen-recorded the process of a user browsing Puma’s website in Shanghai, our staff found something different from the other tested websites. Click the video below to see it in action.

You will see the above if you visit www.puma.com under China network conditions.

When users visit Puma.com in mainland China, the site automatically redirects users to Puma’s Chinese site (optimized for China), cn.puma.com.

Unlike their other major global markets, Puma’s China site does not utilize Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Why? Simply because Salesforce Commerce Cloud does not work in China, this forced Puma developers to build a custom alternative for China. By managing separate platforms, Puma loses agility in its workflow.

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

Yes, Puma’s Chinese site appears to have the green light to operate legally in China.

Puma's ICP number is on their Chinese website.
Puma's ICP number is on their Chinese website.

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




 

Samsonite, www.samsonite.com

Samsonite International is a luggage manufacturer and retailer, with products ranging from large suitcases to small toiletries bags and briefcases. Its registered office is in Luxembourg and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

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

Images on Samsonite's website are not accessible in China.
Images on Samsonite'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 Samsonite’s website in Shanghai. Click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.samsonite.com under China network conditions, you see above.

Does the Samsonite website comply with the laws in China?

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its website.

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




 

Sonos, www.sonos.com

Sonos, Inc (SONO) is an American developer and manufacturer of audio products best known for its multi-room audio products.

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

Images on Sonos's website are not accessible in much of China
Images on Sonos's website are not accessible in much of China

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

If you visit www.sonos.com under China network conditions, you see above.

Does the Sonos website comply with the laws in China?

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its website.

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




 

Lacoste, www.lacoste.com

Lacoste S.A. is a French company founded in 1933 by tennis player René Lacoste and entrepreneur André Gillier. It sells premium clothing, footwear, sportswear, eyewear, leather goods, perfume, towels, and watches.

From our speed test, much of China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening Lacoste’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red and grey means unable to display images).

Images on Lacoste's website are not accessible in China.
Images on Lacoste'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 Lacoste’s website in Shanghai. Click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.lacoste.com under China network conditions, you see above.

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

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its website.

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




 

Cartier, www.cartier.com

Cartier is a French luxury goods conglomerate that designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells jewelry, leather goods, and watches.

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

Images on Cartier's website are not accessible in China.
Images on Cartier'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 Cartier’s website in Shanghai. Click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.cartier.com under China network conditions, you see above.

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

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its website.

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




 

TAG Heuer, www.tagheuer.com

TAG Heuer is a Swiss luxury goods manufacturing company that designs and markets watches and related fashion accessories, eyewear, and mobile phones.

From our speed test, half of China will have difficulty viewing the images and opening TAG Heuer’s website (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

Images on TAG Heuer's website are not accessible in China.
Images on TAG Heuer'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 TAG Heuer’s website in Shanghai. Click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.tagheuer.com under China network conditions, you see above.

Does TAG Heuer’s website comply with the laws in China?

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its website.

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




 

Patagonia, www.patagonia.com

Patagonia, Inc. is an American retailer of outdoor clothing. Patagonia has hundreds of stores in over ten countries across five continents, as well as factories in 16 countries.

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

Images on Patagonia's website are not accessible in China.
Images on Patagonia'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 Patagonia’s website in Shanghai. Click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.patagonia.com under China network conditions, you see above.

You may have noticed content wouldn’t load near the bottom of the page.

Does the Patagonia website comply with the laws in China?

No, and it doesn’t pass our Legal check because the business does not have an ICP license displayed at the footer of its 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


What Are the Next Steps?

As you can see, it is not easy to host a website in China. If you are interested in this subject and need more information, we will be glad to help you tackle this great market. Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a call with one of our experts!