WordPress does not work in China
WordPress does not work in China

TLDR; Is WordPress blocked in China? Websites built with WordPress in China load in 40+ seconds and have broken images and videos. Many WordPress China sites are not even accessible in China. This article explains why WordPress has poor performance in China and then provides you with the only solution to fix your WordPress China 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 WordPress is blocked 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 WordPress in China and if it works in Mainland China or not. Also, you can contact us to get a free speed test of your WordPress China site.


What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP.

2021 Journal Article on WordPress's Market Share
2021 Journal Article on WordPress's Market Share


Does WordPress work in China?

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


Is WordPress Blocked in China?

No, WordPress is not blocked in China, but most WordPress websites perform poorly in China. See below for ten beautiful websites that perform bad in mainland China.


Is WordPress Banned in China?

No, WordPress is not banned in China, but similar to our answer above most WordPress websites perform poorly in China.


Can I host a WordPress website in China?

Yes, 21YunBox provides a simple and compliant WordPress hosting in China solution.

If you have an existing WordPress website that doesn’t work in China, contact us to learn how to get it working in China without a frontend rebuild.


Is WordPress Still Relevent in 2022?

Yes. WordPress is still powers about 40% of all websites on the internet today.


How Can I Test The Performance of My WordPress Site In China?

Testing on the ground inside mainland China is the only way to truly guarantee that your services are being properly delivered.

If you have a trusted friend or contact in China, the easiest way to test your WordPress China site is to send your URL to them. If you do not have a trusted contact in China, you can contact us to get a free speed test of your WordPress China site.


Is WordPress Available in China Out-of-the-Box?

The short answer is no.

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

  1. Most hosting providers, such as www.wordpress.com claim to have Global coverage for your WordPress site, but actually, China is not included.

  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 WordPress site works in China. Don’t just take our words. Let’s look at some popular websites powered by WordPress and see how it performs in mainland 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 popular websites from WordPress’s Global Customers and considered these websites to follow WordPress’ best practices.

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

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

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 WordPress.

 

007, www.007.com

007 aka James Bond is a character and brand that has been adapted for television, radio, comic strip, video games and film. The 007 films are one of the longest continually running film series and have grossed over US$7.04 billion in total.

From our speed test, people in China have difficulty viewing the images on the 007’s website. (that’s what the below figure means, red means unable to display images).

007's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
007'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 007’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.007.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does the 007’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 WordPress user’s websites.

 

Gucci, www.equilibrium.gucci.com

Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion house based in Florence, Italy. Gucci uses their Equilibrium brand to generate positive change for people and our planet.

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

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

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

Does the Gucci’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.




 

Renault Group, www.renaultgroup.com

Renault Group (RNSLY) is a French multinational automobile manufacturer established in 1899. The company produces a range of cars and vans

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

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

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

Does the Renault Group’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.




 

Tonal, www.tonal.com

Tonal is a smart home gym that uses artificial intelligence and expert-led coaching to provide strength training.

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

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

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

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

Does Tonal’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.




 

Disney, www.thewaltdisneycompany.com

The Walt Disney Company (DIS), commonly just Disney, is an American multinational entertainment and media conglomerate.

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

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

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

Does Disney’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.




 

Katie Perry, www.katieperry.com

Katy Perry is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. She is known for her influence on the pop sound and style of the 2010s.

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

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

To see it 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 do, you will only see a blank screen like the above image.

Does Katie Perry’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.




 

Ted Talks, www.blog.ted.com

TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity, with subtitles in 100+ languages.

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

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

If you visit blog.ted.com under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Ted Talk’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.




 

White House, www.whitehouse.gov

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.

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

www.whitehouse.gov's Access Speed is Slow if Accessible in China
www.whitehouse.gov'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 White House’s website in Shanghai, click the video below to see it in action:

If you visit www.whitehouse.gov under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does the White House’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.




 

Global News, www.globalnews.ca

Founded in 1994, Global News is the news and current affairs division of Global Television Network in Canada, overseeing all national and global news programming.

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

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

If you visit www.globalnews.ca under China network conditions, you will see the above

Does Global News’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.




 

WP Engine, www.wpengine.com

WP Engine is a website hosting platform aimed at providing managed hosting solutions specifically for websites using the popular CMS WordPress.

From our speed test, people will have difficulty viewing the images on WP Engine’s website in China. (that’s what the below figure means, red/orange/yellow/grey means unable to display images).

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

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

Does WP Engine’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 plans to use WordPress in 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.