In this article, we will walk you through some speed tests we conducted to determine if Drupal CMS 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 Drupal and if works in Mainland China or not. Also, you can contact us to get a free speed test of your Drupal site for China.


What is Drupal?

Drupal is a free and open-source web content management system (CMS) written in PHP. It provides a back-end framework for at least 13% of the top 10,000 websites world wide.

Drupal is also at the core of Acquia’s popular digital experience platform. Powered by Drupal, Aquia is one of the leading Digital Experience Platform (“DXP”) by Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020.

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


Does Drupal Work in China?

The short answer is no.

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

  1. Most hosting providers claim to have Global coverage for your Drupal site, but actually, China is not included.

  2. If your business didn’t have any legal licenses for your site and content in China, it is operating illegally in China.

Luckily we have put together solutions for you to make your business and your Drupal site work in China.

Don’t just take our words. Let’s look at some popular websites powered by Drupal 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 5 websites from Drupal’s Global Customers and considered these websites to follow the best practices powered by Drupal.

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)


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 Drupal.

 

Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), www.beltandroad.hktdc.com

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub.

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

HKTDC's Access Speed is Slow if Accessable in China
HKTDC's Access Speed is Slow if Accessable in China

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

If you visit HKTDC's site under China network conditions, you will see this

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

Yes, it appears that HKTDC’s Chinese site gets the green light for operating legally in mainland China.

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 HKTDC’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.

ICP on HKTDC's Chinese Website
ICP on HKTDC's Chinese Website

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





Similarly, we ran the same tests for the rest of the Drupal user’s websites.

 

Brand USA, www.visittheusa.com

Brand USA is an organization dedicated to marketing the United States as a premier travel destination.

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

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




 

NASA, www.nasa.gov

NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is a U.S. government agency that is responsible for science and technology related to air and space.

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

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

If you visit www.nasa.gov under China network conditions, you see above

Does the NASA’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.




 

Pfizer, www.pfizer.com

Pfizer Inc is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation headquartered in New York City.

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

Pfizer.com's speed test across China
Pfizer.com's speed test across 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 the Pfizer’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.




 

Jack Daniels, www.jackdaniels.com

Jack Daniels is a brand of Tennessee whiskey and the best-selling whiskey in the world.

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

Images on Jack Daniels's website are not accessible in China
Images on Jack Daniels's website are not 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 the Jack Daniels 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 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.


Ready To Make Your Drupal Site Work in China?