How to make a Chinese website in 2023. Website for China in-depth guide.

How to make a Chinese website in 2023

Ready to expand your business into China’s booming online market? With over 900 million internet users and an e-commerce industry worth over $1.5 trillion, China presents an incredible opportunity for businesses of all sizes. But to succeed in China, you need more than just a basic website. You need a website that is optimized for Chinese users, culture, and search engines. In this in-depth guide, we’ll show you how to create a website for China that stands out from the crowd. From localization and design to SEO, we’ll cover everything you need to know to succeed in China in 2023 and beyond.

So let’s dive in!

Create a Standalone .cn Chinese version of your website

Creating a standalone .cn website is the best way to cater to Chinese users and show them that you care about their needs. This approach is better for SEO, better for your brand awareness in China, and better for acquiring new Chinese consumers. A .CN domain is favored and trusted by Chinese search engines and is less likely to be blocked by the Chinese internet regulations.

The Simple Solution: Making a Copy of Your Website and Modifying It for China’s Internet Regulations

Many businesses try to take a shortcut by simply translating their website and creating a subdomain (often or ) to keep everything in the same place. However, this approach often fails because global websites are built using APIs that are blocked in China. To create a successful Chinese website, it’s important to make a copy of your existing website, migrate it to a server in China (or close to China, preferably Hong Kong), and modify the copy to make it work with China’s internet regulations. Each foreign API that is blocked in China has a Chinese alternative, so there is no need to worry about finding a workaround.

Secure Your Website with an ICP License

It’s crucial to obtain an ICP license for hosting content within China, whether on your own servers or on third-party servers. The ICP license is a permit required for individuals and businesses that want to host content within China. Without an ICP permit, the domain is at risk of being shut down or blacklisted by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Two types of ICP licenses:

  • ICP license for commercial websites;
  • ICP filing for non-commercial websites.

The ICP license for commercial websites is for those that offer goods or services, while the ICP filing is for non-commercial content-based websites.

Who can apply for a content-based non-commercial ICP filing:

  • Chinese citizens with state-issued passports
  • foreign individuals who are currently residing in China,
  • partially or wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE)

On the other hand, a Chinese-owned business with a Chinese business license or a foreign business where a Chinese business holds at least 51% ownership can apply for a commercial ICP license.

Or host your website in Hong Kong

If you’re targeting the Chinese market with your website, it’s important to consider where you host your site. The Chinese administration system is unique, and the server location can affect loading speed, Chinese SEO, and security. Many international businesses choose to host their Chinese websites in Hong Kong to avoid complicated bureaucratic procedures while also accelerating access speed when visiting from mainland China. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of hosting your Chinese website in Hong Kong.

Pros of Hosting Your Chinese Website in Hong Kong :

  • Easier and Cost-Efficient: It’s often easier and more cost-efficient to host your website in Hong Kong than to go through the complicated process of obtaining an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license in mainland China. This is because Hong Kong has a separate legal system and administrative procedures from mainland China.
  • More Freedom in Information and Data Flow: Hong Kong’s legal system and administrative procedures also allow for more freedom in the flow of information and data. This means you have more flexibility in what content you can host on your site.
  • No ICP License required


There are also some drawbacks to hosting your Chinese website in Hong Kong, including:

  • Possibility of Being Blocked by China’s Great Firewall: While hosting your website in Hong Kong may offer more freedom, there’s also a risk that your site could be blocked by China’s Great Firewall. This can happen if your site is deemed to contain sensitive or prohibited content
  • Slower Loading Speed: On average, websites hosted in Hong Kong can take up to 10 seconds longer to load than those hosted in mainland China.

Create Chinese Website Without Blocked Elements

If you are looking to create a Chinese website, you may be wondering about the impact of Google’s presence in China. The truth is, Google is basically blocked in China and using its services for your website can cause it to not function properly. However, don’t let this discourage you from building a website that caters to the Chinese market. With some adjustments and attention to the regulatory requirements, you can create a website that is China Internet-compatible.

One key to success in creating a Chinese website is avoiding the use of any blocked elements. This includes:

  • Google API,
  • Google Fonts,
  • Google Maps,
  • Gmail,
  • YouTube videos,
  • and more.

Luckily, there are Chinese alternatives for each of these services.

If you are building your website from scratch, consider working with a professional team that has experience in China website development and optimization. can help you create a website that meets Chinese regulations and design standards, while ensuring that it runs smoothly and quickly.

If you already have a global website and want to expand into China, duplicating your existing website and modifying it for Chinese regulations is an effective option. By doing this, you can avoid using any blocked elements and make sure that your website runs smoothly in China.

How to make a Chinese website  Best Practices for Design and UX

Use Best Practices for Design and UX to Create an Impressive Website for Your Chinese Audience.

In today’s digital age, businesses are expanding their reach by creating websites tailored for different countries and audiences. China, the world’s most populous country, with over 1.4 billion people, is a significant market for businesses worldwide. When designing a website for China, it is essential to consider the unique factors of Chinese design and user experience (UX).

Why UX and Design in China are different

When it comes to UX and design, China is not so unique. It requires careful consideration of factors such as environment, attention span, and screen space, like any other country. However, one crucial aspect of designing a website for China is creating a mobile-first design. This is because 788 million people in China are mobile users, making up 98 percent of the country’s total user base. A mobile-first design is not a hard and fast rule, but it is highly essential to consider for a seamless user experience.

Additionally, integrating the website with WeChat or building a Chinese WeChat minisite will also enhance the user experience. WeChat is a widely popular social media platform in China, with over 1.2 billion active users, and integrating it with the website can help users navigate with ease.

Graphic Design and Typography Rules in China

When creating a website for China, it is essential to keep in mind the graphic design and typography rules. Here are some of the rules to follow:

  • Chinese people generally prefer colorful websites with a lot of graphics and pop-ups, contrary to the minimalistic designs popular in the West.
  • Use a font of at least 12 px to guarantee the visibility of Chinese characters on websites. Chinese characters are divided into strokes, and the number of them can vary between 1 and 60 strokes, making it unreadable if the font is too small or too intricate.
  • The layout of a Chinese website should not be cluttered and should be tailored to the Chinese language and culture.

Navigation and Layout in Chinese Websites

The navigation and layout of a Chinese website are different from the West. Here are some key differences to keep in mind:

  • Chinese websites provide a lot of navigation options with general categories and shortcuts to popular specific topics. When clicked, links open in new windows or tabs, allowing users to compare information quickly.
  • Chinese websites use a horizontal design, displaying content horizontally across the webpage rather than vertically down.
  • Complex architecture is natural to Chinese users, so the layout may appear cluttered, but it is essential to fill up the web-space available.

Use The Best Practices for Colors and Visuals

When designing a website for China, it is essential to consider color choices and visuals. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Western websites tend to be simple in design and use a lot of white space, whereas Chinese websites can appear much more cluttered to maximize the web-space available.
  2. Chinese websites use a wider color scheme, with the use of flash and animated content.
  3. By incorporating bright colors and plenty of pictures, the website will appeal to the Chinese user.

Incorporate the Power of QR Codes to Enhance Your Chinese Website Design and UX

Most Chinese websites feature a QR code on their homepage, which helps drive seamless mobile integration. Users can quickly scan the QR code to get more information about the product, promotional discounts, or benefits.

Creating a Chinese website requires careful consideration of various factors, including graphic design, typography rules, navigation, and layout. By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can create a website that appeals to Chinese audiences and enhances the user experience. Always keep in mind the purpose and audience when creating a website for China, and it will help you achieve your business goals.

Leverage the Power of Chinese social media to Boost Your Website’s Reach

In China, where popular Western social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are blocked, there are Chinese equivalents such as WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin. But it is important to note that Chinese social media is not just a replacement for Western social media when it comes to creating a website for China. When leveraged properly, it can be more powerful than one might expect.

WeChat: China’s Super App

It is essential to start with an understanding of the most popular social platform in China, WeChat. It is used for both personal and professional communication, and offers a range of features such as messaging, file sharing, video conferencing, discussion groups, paying bills, ordering a cab, and food delivery, among others.

When creating a Chinese website, it is crucial to look at all the points at which Chinese social media can be utilized. For example, WeChat or QQ should be used for user registration and login instead of email or Facebook. Although Chinese netizens do have email addresses, it is far less commonly used to register for services than one might expect. Inputting a mobile phone number and receiving a unique SMS confirmation is much more widespread.

Featuring Official Chinese Social Media Accounts on Your Website

It is also essential to feature links to official Chinese social media accounts such as WeChat, Weibo, Qzone, and Youku on your website. Featuring Western social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram will not get you far because they are inaccessible behind the Great Firewall of China. Chinese internet users cannot access them, let alone maintain an active account on these platforms. WeChat, on the other hand, is a popular and influential social sharing platform with unique features that allow brands, including international brands, to effectively reach their target audience. With a monthly active user base of 889 million, it is a fundamental tool to reach Chinese internet users.

When planning to create a Chinese website, it is important to understand the potential of Chinese social media beyond just a replacement for Western social media. Utilizing social media platforms such as WeChat or QQ for user registration and login, and featuring links to official Chinese social media accounts, can help you reach your target audience effectively.

Localize your website for Chinese customers

Creating a Chinese website to attract Chinese customers involves more than just translating your content into Chinese. Effective website localization and copywriting localization are crucial in engaging your target audience and adapting to their cultural values. By understanding the specific needs of the Chinese market, you can create a website that speaks directly to your potential customers and increases your business’s visibility in China.

Understanding Website Localization and Copywriting Localization

 As a business looking to expand to the Chinese market, creating a Chinese version of your website is a crucial step in reaching out to potential customers. However, simply translating your website from English to Chinese is not enough to effectively engage your target audience. This is where website localization and copywriting localization come in.

Website Localization: Adapting Your Website for the Chinese Market

Website localization is the process of adapting website content for a specific audience that speaks a different language and holds different cultural values. This means more than just translating your website into Chinese. You must also adjust the design, images, user experience, SEO approach, and other necessary elements to appeal to a Chinese audience while staying true to your company brand tone.

To effectively localize your website for the Chinese market, consider the following:

  • Design aesthetics: Colors, imagery, and other design elements should be tailored to Chinese preferences.
  • User experience: Ensure that the website is easy to navigate and understand for Chinese users.
  • Currency, date format, address format, and name format: Adapt to the local standards to create a seamless experience for Chinese users.
  • Connection to local social media: Incorporate popular Chinese social media platforms to engage with potential customers.
  • Keywords optimization based on local search engine algorithm: Utilize Chinese search engines to ensure that your website is visible to potential customers.

Copywriting Localization: Adapting Your Content for the Chinese Market

While translation is an important part of website localization, it is not the only consideration. Copywriting localization involves adapting your content for the Chinese market to ensure that it speaks directly to your target audience.

Hiring a copywriter with knowledge of your specific industry is crucial in this process. They can adapt and polish your content for a Chinese audience while keeping your brand tone intact. Copywriting localization also involves addressing high-contextual meanings in Chinese language and culture, as well as addressing cultural, visual, and technological components of the Chinese market.

Remember The Importance of a Mobile-Responsive Website

As the use of mobile devices has become widespread in China, having a mobile-responsive website is crucial for any business. Let’s look at some reasons why it’s essential to create a website in China that is optimized for mobile users.

Impact on User Experience

A mobile-responsive website offers a better user experience, as it allows customers to easily access information and ensures fast-loading speeds, keeping them engaged for longer periods of time. This can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, leading to increased sales and better customer retention.

Not having a mobile-responsive website could result in losing a significant part of potential business, as the majority of Chinese people browse the internet through their mobile devices. Failure to optimize for mobile usage could negatively impact customer satisfaction, resulting in decreased sales and poor customer retention.

Baidu’s Preference for Mobile-Friendly Sites

Baidu, the leading search engine in China, now favors mobile-friendly sites. Let’s see why it’s crucial to design a website in China that caters to both desktop and mobile users.

Optimizing for mobile devices can have a positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO), as Baidu’s preference for mobile-friendly sites can lead to higher search rankings, increasing visibility and attracting more potential customers.

Not optimizing for mobile devices could negatively impact search rankings, resulting in decreased visibility and potential loss of business. Therefore, it’s important to make a website in China that caters to both desktop and mobile users to avoid negative consequences on search rankings and business growth.