Chinese internet publishing options

Chinese internet publishing options

The rules and regulations of publishing internet contents in mainland China are the governance of the PR China. This paper is our understanding as at the date of publication

Publishing internet content, e.g. website, APP, etc, in mainland China is subject to national government rules and regulations which are enforced locally in China by city / region.

These rules and regulations require your business, before publishing on the Chinese internet, to have access to an Internet content publishing (ICP) license. There are different levels of ICP license allowing you to publish different types of content and trade on-line.

However, there are ways of publishing on the internet in China without your business needing its own ICP. These are Chinese platforms and services; Chinese e-Malls, Social media, search engines, etc. In these cases, the Chinese publishing rules and regulation must be adhered to. It is the responsibility of the platform / service provider to monitor, correct and close internet content as required.

Under some conditions, i.e. Access to China, will help international businesses establish their internet content in China by acting as an agent for your Chinese publication. There are many ways of publishing your internet content in China. We recommend you consider all of them before selecting options.

These options are in three groups;

  • International and Chinese platforms
  • International and Chinese System as a Service (SaaS)
  • Your own internet presence.

Note: “International” in the contexts of this paper means “any platform or service running outside mainland China”. This includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.

A full management summary of these groups is on the next page.

No ICP is needed for internet content published outside China. This includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.  Access to your internet content outside China maybe blocked, (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, etc.), or slowed down so making your internet content unusable (e.g. Google).

We recommend you perform two activities, regardless of your trading intention.

  • Test your internet content accessibility from mainland China. Review what can and cannot be seen, webtest.accesstochina.com
  • Register your company brands in China, Chinese brand registration

If you need any further information please contact as at us at support@accesstochina.com

Management summary of Chinese internet publication options

International and Chinese Service Delivery Platforms (SDP)

SDPs are a third partly supplier with the infrastructure for a business and / or consumer services, e.g.  mobile telephone services, internet connection, search engines, e-Commerce sites (Amazon, eBay), etc.

In mainland China, SDP’s are very popular. The service providers have the Chinese government approval to publish on the Chinese internet and therefore you do not need Internet Contents Provider (ICP) license to use providers services.

The SDP supplier is responsible for making sure their customers follow the Chinese publication and trading rules and regulations.

If you are selling from inside mainland China you will require a Chinese business to processes payments, tax return, etc. Most SDP have an International service which enable you to sell to mainland China without having a local Chinese business.

Option

Short Description

Our View

International search engines (a)

  • Google is slowed down so it becomes unusable.
  • Bing is usable in China.
  • Most Chinese people use Chinese search engines.

Recommendation: Needed for Chinese regions outside mainland China.

Poor Option for mainland China

Chinese search engine (b)

 

Recommendation: Setup webmaster for each of the above search engines along with your SEO data in Chinese.

Good Option

International retail e-Mails (c)

  • Amazon (international)

International e-Mall purchases count for approx. 20% of the annual $600m e-Mall retail market.

Option for consideration

International Chinese retail e-Mails (d)

Many of the large Chinese e-malls have an international service. This includes

- Tmall global

- JDBuy international

There is also dedicated created Chinese international e-Malls e.g. Koala 

Recommendation: Listing in Chinese e-Malls can be expensive.  Make sure you have a good business case before doing so

Option for consideration

Chinese local retail e-Malls (e)

There are many local Chinese e-Malls. You will need a Chinese company / person to be able to sell in these e-Malls. Chinese people / companies often sell international products in the local Chinese e-Malls.

Recommendation: The Chinese e-Malls are very good places to research your company and products and services.

Good place for research

Chinese business platforms (f)

Alibaba (B2B platform) is the largest and most widely used business platform in China and internationally. This has been very successful for both Chinese and overseas companies marketing not just in China but throughout the world.

In listing in Alibaba, you will be placing your product and services alongside Chinese and international businesses.

Recommendation: Very good place to research the world market. In listing, you will open your company to a potential 60% of the world market.

Option for strong consideration

International media channels (g)

Alibaba (B2B platform) is the largest and most widely used business platform in China and internationally. This has been very successful for both Chinese and overseas companies marketing not just in China but throughout the world.

In listing in Alibaba, you will be placing your product and services alongside Chinese and international businesses.

Recommendation: Very good place to research the world market. In listing, you will open your company to a potential 60% of the world market.
Very poor option

Chinese media channels (h)

China has very strong media channels. These included; Tudou, YouKu, QIY. There must be over 100 media channels in China. They are tightly regulated. Overseas companies can upload their business media content on these services provided the Chinese regulations are followed.

Recommendation: Create an account in YouKu as an overseas user and load your business content.
Good option

International Social media (i)

Except for LinkedIn, all international social media is blocked in China.

Recommendation: Check what can be seen in China: https://webtest.accesstochina.com 
Poor option
Chinese social media (j) Chinese social media is very successful with 100s of millions of users and contents to match. The problem is being noticed / building followers within the Chinese social media. There are many Chinese businesses which can help you be noticed in Chinese social media. While there are many social media platforms in China the two most used platforms are; WeChat and Weibo. Good option
International Internet of things (k)

With the on-going development of the Internet of Things Chinese rules & regulation are still to be developed for across border activity.   

Option to monitor

Chinese internet of things (l)

China is quickly developing and rolling out the Internet of Things (millions of devices per months). Again, Chinese rules & regulation are still to be developed.

Option to monitor

International and Chinese System as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a service (SaaS) is software licensing.  It is delivered on a subscription basis and centrally hosted and managed. It is sometimes referred to as "on-demand software” and was formerly referred to as "software plus services" by Microsoft.

It is possible for an overseas company to offer SaaS to a business / consumer in mainland China provided the service is running outside China.

If you have SaaS already, please check that your software components are accessible from China: https://webtest.accesstochina.com  (including the help desk / support systems).

Option

Short Description

Our View

International public network (m)

Your SaaS is running on a local / international outside China.

Recommendation: Check that you service can be seen and used in China: https://webtest.accesstochina.com

Poor option

Chinese enclosed network (n)

Your SaaS is hosted locally in China accessed by Chinese offices over a local VPN.

Note: International VPNs are not allowed in China.

Good option

Chinese white Label (o)

Your SaaS is running in China White labelled to a Chinese business. The ICP will be the responsibility of the Chinese company. This way the software can remain under control.

Good option

Chinese public (p)

Local Chinese hosting, ICP certification and a Chinese business will be required. Locally hosted software.

Option for consideration

Split services between Chinese and international SaaS (q)

Local Chinese hosting, ICP certification and a Chinese business will be required.

Recommendation: “Frontend” of your software hosted in China and your backend software hosted away from China. This will go a long way to protect your IPR.

Good option

Your own internet presents

Publishing your own internet contents on the internet international or within China using hosting service, server, etc.

Option

Short Description

Our View

Your own internet presence running international (r)

Locally or international hosted service outside China.

Recommendation: Please run through the Check List and test your services from inside China.

https://www.accesstochina.com/check-list https://webtest.accesstochina.com

Option for consideration

Your own internet presence running in China (s)

Before you can publish your internet content in mainland China you will require an ICP certificate. To achieve this, you will need to create a Chinese business.

Recommendation:  More information on ICP and publishing on the internet in China is contained in the detail of this paper.

Option for consideration

Chinese internet publication options

International and Chinese Service Delivery Platforms (SDP)

A platform is where you load your internet content to an existing service.

International search engines (a)

Google
Bing
Yahoo
 

The two main global search engines are not used in mainland China.

Google access has slowed down so it takes over 60 seconds to open the home page. Bing, Microsoft search engines, while available in China, have less than 2% usage. Yahoo, again owned by Microsoft, is not used in mainland China.

These search engines are used wildly around Asia.

  • Hong Kong – Google (80%) Yahoo (20%) – (Cantonese / Mandarin)
  • Taiwan – Google (50%) Yahoo (50%) – (Taiwanese / Mandarin)
  • Singapore – Google (95+%) (English / Mandarin)
  • LA – Google (95+%) – Largest Chinese community outside Asia (Cantonese / English)

We recommend that you have Chinese SEO for these markets.

For more information please see Chinese search engine.

Chinese search engines (b)

Baidu
Shanma - Chinese search engine
360 Search - Chinese search engine
Sogou - Chinese search engine

China has developed its own search engines over the last 20 years. The market is dominated by;

  • Baidu – 77.73%
  • Shenma – 9.35%
  • 360 Search– 6.37%
  • Sogou – 3.59%
  • Google – 1.67%
  • Bing / Yahoo – 1.14%

Date: April 2018

China has developed its own search engines over the last 20 years.  The market is dominated by;

  • Baidu – 77.73%
  • Shenma – 9.35%
  • 360 Search– 6.37%
  • Sogou – 3.59%
  • Google – 1.67%
  • Bing / Yahoo – 1.14%

Date: April 2018

Historically, Google is accessed from China using VPNs. International VPNs are now being closed in China and therefore it is expected the Google traffic will be lower as 2018 progresses.

Most Chinese search engines support the main functionality you can find in Google.

Examples; webmaster, advertising, etc.

The monitoring of the content of the websites is the responsibility owner of the Chinese search engine when the search engine accepts marketing payments

If you using a Chinese search engine for advertising, you will need to supply a lot of information including company and product certification / registration details. It is the responsibility of the search engine to validate all companies before they accept advertisements. 

Your business does not require ICP certification to use this type of internet platform.

We strongly recommend that you set up SEO for these search engines otherwise you will only be listed in your internet contents language not Cantonese or Mandarin.

For more information please see Chinese search engine.

Note: Shenma only started in 2017. It’s taken up has been formidable. Shenma brings together e-Mall contents into a single search engine; “all the products” in one place.

International retail e-Malls (c)

Amazon - international e-Mall
eBay - international e-Mall
 

China on-line retail market is estimated to be worth $500bn in 2018. Of which 15% to 20% comes from purchases of international goods on-line. A market worth up to $100bn in 2018.

Most of China (90%+) on-line retail sells comes from the e-Malls; on-line department store, e.g. Amazon, Tmall, JDBuy.

There are three types of platforms;

  • International e-Malls
  • Chinese international e-Malls
  • Chinese local e-Malls.

International goods are available in all these types of platforms.

The international e-Malls can be seen in China with acceptable response times.

Amazon has the biggest share of the international e-Malls in China. eBay is often used by Chinese companies to sell internationally. eBay is not used in Chinese for international purchases in any volume.

There is a local Chinese version of Amazon; China Amazon. For international and local business China Amazon has a very low percentage of the market.

The general issues with overseas e-Commerce sites are the shipping to China. This includes, posting, tracing, returns, customer clearance, etc. Many products in international retail e-Malls are not setup for the Chinese market, e.g. postage.

A starting point could be to setup your products in Amazon for shipment to China?

There are Chinese shipping agents that will handle the end to end postage and delivery. It is only a matter of time before the postage costs and processes for shipping to China are as cost-effective sending goods from China.

Source of data: www.statista.com - China

For more information please see Business to Consumer

Chinese International retail e-Malls (d)

TMall Global - Chinese International eMall
Kaola - Chinese International eMall
JDbuy Chinese international eMall
VIP - Chinese International eMall
TMall Global - International eMall
Suning - Chinese International eMall
Jumel - Chinese International eMall
 

The share of the international e-Mall business from main China;

  • TMall global – 27.6%%
  • Kaolo – 20.5%
  • JD International – 13.8%
  • YIP International – 9.8%
  • Amazon (international not China Amazon) – 9.1%
  • Sunning – 2.5%
  • Jumei – 2.4%

Annual stats: 2017

Estimate value for international retail business – 2018 - $120bn

Apart from Amazon, all these retail e-Mall platforms are Chinese owned.

To enable international companies to trade inside mainland China these platforms operate in Hong Kong. Hong Kong trading is based on: one country two systems. As far as mainland China is concerned, trading with Hong Kong an international country.

Therefore, international businesses can list their product on the internet in Hong Kong without needing a China business to trade or ICP license. E.g. Tmall Global.

The retail e-Mall platforms then list the international products in search results inside their China e-Mal platforms under the sub heading “trading without borders”. This way of marketing and trading in China has been very successful.

Trading on these Platforms can be very expensive. Please review all costs before embarking on the use of Chinese e-Malls

Please visit “being seen in China” for more information.

Chinese local retail e-Malls (e)

 TMall - Chinese national e-Mall
Taobao - Chinese national e-Mall
JDBuy - Chinese national e-Mall
Suning - Chinese national e-Mall
VIP - Chinese national e-Mall
Gone - Chinese national e-Mall
Dangdang - Chinese national e-Mall
Amazon China - Chinese national e-Mall
Yihaodian  - Chinese national e-Mall
jumel  - Chinese national e-Mall
Wechat - Chinese national e-Mall
 

There are many the Chinese local retail e-Mall platform. They have been very successful. Today Chinese on-line retail market has overtaken USA in size and is now the biggest in the world.

The protected value of the on-line retail market for 2018: $500 (including $100bn plus from international sales)

The market share in 2017 is as follows;

Tmall and Taobao – 60.99%

JDBuy – 25.6%

Sunning – 4.5%

VIP.com – 3.8%

Gome – 1.2%

Dangdang – 0.73%

China Amazon – 0.7%

Yihaodian – 0.5%

Jumei – 0.3%

Please Note: Missing from the above statistics is WeChat. WeChat is a Platform which enables many internet activities including on-line shops. It has been very success.

To market and sell in the Chinese local retail e-Malls you will require a Chinese company or a Chinese agent selling your products on your behalf.

In addition, your will have to meet many appropriate local Chinese testing standards, e.g.   electrical product “ccc” certificate.

These platforms are a good place to research your products and your competitors. You may find your products are already being sold or there is a copy. It is very important to register your brand in China.

Please visit “being seen in China” for more information.

Chinese business platforms (f)

Chinese national and international B2B trading engine
 

This Chinese business platform was the first major presence on the Chinese internet.

The best-known business platform in mainland China is Alibaba

This platform, like other Chinese business platforms, enables companies to market their product and services within mainland China and world-wide.

If you are using a Chinese business platform, where you paying for services, you will need to supply information including company and product certification / registration details.

As these are not e-commerce platforms you do not need a Chinese business and as it is a platform your company does not need an ICP license. 

Please visit “being seen in China” for more information.

International media channels (g)

You Tube - International media
Vimeo - International media
Instagiam  - International media
 

All the international social media platforms are blocked in mainland China.

If you are using international social media content inside your website you will find that it will not be shown.

Using international social media content inside China is not an option.

Please see website.accesstochina.com to learn more.

Chinese media channels (h)

Tudou  - Chinese national media
Youku - Chinese national media
QIY - Chinese national media
 

There are over a 100 social media channels in mainland China. It is very popular and an effective way to communicate with the Chinese consumer.     

Some of these platforms allow businesses and members of the public to load video content e.g. YouKu.

Most of these video platforms are looking for media content.

For some of these social media platforms you will need to be a Chinese business to open an account.

There are China agents that can help you load social media content to these platforms. In doing so they will be taking responsibility for the content in mainland China.

Again; the monitoring of the content is the responsibility of the owner of the social media platform.

No Internet Chinese publishing certification is needed to use social media platforms.

International social media (i)

Facebook - International Social Media
Twitter - International Social Media
Instagiam - International Social Media
 
Pinterest - International Social Media
Reddit - International Social Media
Linked In - International Social Media
 

Most international social media are blocked. The exception to this in the past has been LinkedIn. We now seeing LinkedIn blocked on some of the Chinese internet network.

Before changes this year, many Chinese people accessed the Chinese internet over VPNs. Many of Chinese VPNs have been closed and therefore the use of the international social media from China will be reduced.

If your website contains content from International social media, e.g. Instagram, the images will be blank on the website.

Please see website.accesstochina.com to learn more.

Chinese social media (j)

WeChat - Chinese Social Media
Weibo - Chinese Social Media
QQ - Chinese Social Media
 

There are many social media platforms in China. The most popular platforms are owned / trading partnerships with Tencent or Alibaba.

The most popular social media platform today (June 2018) is WeChat. This could be changing given the growth in Shenma as a search engine which is a partnership with Alibaba. Alibaba social media platform is Weibo.

Overseas people can join these platforms from outside mainland China.

Company membership of the social media platforms often requires a Chinese business. The rules for using Chinese social media often changes as they try to go global with the products and services on the platform.

The monitoring of the content of the platform is the responsibility owner of the media platform.

No Internet ICP licences are needed to use these internet platforms.

International internet of things(k)

The International internet of things to operate in China needs local infrastructure to collect the data.

A company to do this will need an ICP licensee and a Chinese business.

We would recommend that you work with businesses in China already developing and / or using the internet of things.

The more interesting opportunity is where an international company is developing products and services that use the internet of things. Large companies in China. e.g. China Telecom, are looking for opportunities to further develop the use of the Chinese Internet of Things.

Please contact Access to China for more information …. support@accesstochina.com

Chinese internet of things(l)

 The Chinese internet of things is developing very quickly in China. 

This example is where China Telecom and Huawei are working in partnership to developed the services.

Chinese internet of things

 

The internet of things needs internet backend local connection, i.e. sim cards. To create these networks, you need telecom ICP license. This type of license is not available to international businesses.

International business looking to enter this market should look for a business partner in China.

Chinese System as a service

International public network (m)

Supplying international services to the Chinese market will not require an ICP license as the service is being run outside China and any trading agreement will also be outside China.

The service fees can be paid from China on Chinese an international credit card. As long as your credit card processing company can process UniPAY credit cards.

A formal agreement with payment terms, etc, will be required for larger amounts of money that require a bank transfer from China. The Chinese business will have to register the agreement at the bank to make payments.

There are two major inhibitors that will stop the development of international Chinese business.

  • Not finding your business on the internet from China. More information sees here.
  • Cannot access your internet presence from China … More information sees here.

Chinese enclosed network (n)

An enclosed network is where the Chinese company access your services over an enclosed network within mainland China.

In this scenario the public cannot see the service and therefore an ICP license is not required.

We recommend that you run service from a Chinese data centre to give good local response time and performance.

Chinese enclosed network

 

Chinese white label network (o)

White label is where you are running a service on behalf on another business. In this case a Chinese business. In the example the white labelled service brand name is owned by the Chinese business.

Chinese white label network

 

You will require an ICP licence and it is the responsibility of the Chinese company to obtain this.

In the case of on-line trading inside mainland China you will need to add Chinese payment gateways to your system. Please ensure that the Chinese company arranges for the Chinese payment gateways for testing and trading.  Please visit “being seen in China” for more information.

Chinese public service (p)

This is the same as white label with the major difference being that you are responsible for the ICP license, Chinese trading company.

Chinese white label network

 

 

We recommend you only through the cost of creative Chinese service if you have customers ready to use service as soon as it is implemented.

Split services between Chinese and international SaaS (g)

In this example, it can apply to any of the above SaaS’s.

We do recommend splitting front line services from backend services. In doing this you can move the backend services outside China. You may be able to keep your USP coding directly under your control on your existing platform.

Split services between Chinese and international SaaS

 

The options you could consider;

  • Create a bespoke configured proxy server
  • Frontend website and local data for the collection of user data.
  • Local held data for all static information, e.g. Media

The solution will be a balance between local response times and overall uses appearance vs protection USP of your software and service.

Your own internet presence

Your own internet presence running international (r)

 

Your service / internet content is running on the international internet before you look at trading in China.

The first point to look at is your response times from China

Please see website.accesstochina.com to learn more.

We also recommend working through the Chinese internet Check List

Your own internet presence running in China (s)

You want to set up your own services in China.

You will need a Chinese business and ICP license.

We recommend continue through the Chinese internet Check List as the starting point.

If it the first time you have created your own business in China we recommend bring in a mentor who has done this before, e.g. trade organisation; CBBC.

International software recommendations

Software companies supplying Chinese businesses need to make sure the Chinese company applies for an ICP license. Our recommendation is that ICP application is part of any agreement between the businesses.

Our other recommendation to overseas software companies selling into the Chinese market is to register their software with the Chinese authorities. This is like “brand registration” for software. It will protect your software from direct copying but not from reverse engineering.

If the option exists, we recommend only implementing your frontend software in China. Leave the backend processing at your current location. This option is only available for systems where there are only small amounts of data to be transferred or the customer is prepared to wait as data moves around the world.

 Web page last modified: September 2018