carte_de_chineEverybody knows that China is a complex country. So is the Chinese Internet: the road to deploy a local website will be hard and long.
After a year working closely with a Chinese partner hosting provider, Fasterize has opened a POP (Point Of Presence) in Shanghai.
In addition to the rest of the world, we now help our customers to reach better performance in China.

Why is web perfirmance a key point when we address China?

Working on web performance when you want to cover China is necessary for two reasons:

1. Chinese network connection is bad

As shown in the graph below, the Chinese network connection is much slower than in the UK and France.
4mgbps15Mgbps(source : https://www.stateoftheinternet.com/)

Even if there are more and more 4 Mbps connections in China, they are lower than in France and UK. Regarding 15 Mbps connections, they are close to zero in China.

2. The Great Firewall slows connections

All incoming and outcoming connections has to cross the Great Firewall and it significantly increases  latency.
The more you have objects in your webpage, the more connections you have, the slower your website is.

Technical note:
Be careful to your DNS resolutions: if your resource is not served from China and on a .cn domain, its loading may be slowed.
It’s a bit of a handicap when we add widgets. They generally cause damage to the website performance but this is even more true for a website addressing China! Performance can then collapse.

 

Why mainland China?

The complexity to setup in China explains (at least partially) that most CDN that have a global coverage are little or not present in mainland China (I mean inside the firewall).
In this context, a CDN has a dual purpose yet:

  • A CDN in mainland China avoids getting resources outside of the country and systematically crossing the Great Firewall
  • China is a huge country so bringing content closer to users is even more important

That’s the reason why, in addition to help them to cross the firewall and optimize their web pages on the fly in China, we propose a local CDN to our customers.

Technical note:
We’ve chosen to install our POP in Shanghaï (not in Hong-Kong) to be inside the Great Firewall and thus get better performance improvements on websites.

 

Performance gains are already there

As our first customers are connected to our new POP in China, first feedbacks are impressive and we significantly improve  the performance of their websites.

Here is a visual example of our improvements on a ecommerce website:
filmstrip
These thumbnails compare the loading of one of our accelerated website with the original one. Each thumbnail is taken at a 5 seconds interval (yes, 5 seconds!).
Whereas the first elements of the original website were displayed after 12.5 seconds, the fasterized website displays the full page after only 5.5 seconds.
The loading time of the Fasterized website is 15 seconds, instead of 51 seconds for the original website.

Technical note:
Here are the real figures:

On Start Render1 On Speed Index2
Home Page  – 61% – 48%
List Page – 26% – 5%
Product Page  – 76% – 68%


1The Start Render gives the moment the first web page elements are displayed. This metric has a direct impact on the speed perceived by users.

2The Speed Index defines the rate at which the webpage elements are displayed above the fold.

To reach even better performance, we’ve developed specific optimizations dedicated to this chinese context.

Technical note:
One of the technique we use is to automatically put resources on the main domain, preferably on a local CDN. We call it “unsharding” as opposed to the “sharding” technique that consists in distributing resources on several static domains. We save on DNS resolutions and on latency.

 

Got a Chinese website?

Do you want to know more about the impact of our service on your performance?

 

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