Websites in China and Optimizing For Chinese Web Traffic with Jons Slemmer

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Welcome to Global from Asia episode 271 and our intro is in Chiang Mai International Airport. Today’s interview is a good one, we have Jons Slemmer who is the new host of China Business Cast Podcast. Jons is an expert when it comes to Chinese hosting and servers. In the show he will give us amazing insights like how to not get your website blocked in China, how to host, we’re going to talk about licenses and procedures and strategies that I think are pretty valuable.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Intro Jons

    Friend, member, and Host of China Business Cast! Also founder of Red Star Consulting helping companies get their server and web hosting in China all setup

  • How do I not let my website become blocked in China?

    A top question I receive, people want to prevent their website from being blocked.

  • Why might it get blocked?

    Shared IP, using plugins that have blocked content, fonts, or – being too…risky (but normally only really big sites are blocked right?)

  • The best solution - hosting in China

    Chinese servers, the differences

  • ICP licenses - permission to host in China

    What are they and why should I get it?

  • Can foreigners host in China?

    Or do I need a Chinese partner?

  • Do I need a Chinese company?

    Or can I do it as a foreign company?

  • What about hosting in Hong Kong or Singapore?

    Will that help?

  • What are the risks of hosting in China?

    What is some worst case scenarios

  • How can people find you online?

    Linkedin Account – link down below

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Jons Slemmer’s VIP Expert Page
China Business Cast
√ Jons’ business: Red Star Consulting –
Jons member series on GFA
GFA’s blog post on China web serving
√ BEAAN license vs PSB license

Episode Length 52:32

Thank you Jons for sharing. Glad we finally got you on the show. He is doing amazing work in China Business Cast. We are happy that we are empowering people – building content and sharing knowledge and strategies with people who are interested to learn.

Download Options

Listen in Youtube

Show Transcript


Welcome to Global From Asia episode 271 and our intro is in Chiang Mai International Airport.  On the road again. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight-up actionable advice and now your host Michael Michelini.

[00:00:26] All right. As always I try to do little intros on the road in buses and airports. I’ve done it on the airplane itself, but we are Global from Asia after all gets a little background noise of the life on the road. So I’m in Chiang Mai now and going to Hong Kong feel like preparing for a war zone or something.

[00:00:49] Seriously little bit scared. We’re doing a little dinner meet up with some members and VIPs while I’m there. And, of course banking and people are like don’t wear a black shirt and don’t wear a bandana. Or I said honestly I mean Hong Kong just show started around Hong Kong business and it is tragic the chaos that is happening there.

[00:01:14] But I’m still flying in. Stay there a little while Shenzhen, Guangzhou for the Crossborder summit preparations and in Zhengzhou, Henan. I will be speaking on a panel about the trade war. I’m going to be speaking about a trade War in China at Chinese conferences. I’m like the talking white guy on a panel talking about the trade war and

[00:01:34] I guess I’ll be the enemy or something. Maybe I’ll get some eggs thrown at me on the stage feel like it’s kind of my duty and one of them is a government, one’s a private event and they’re like, hey, you’re an American. You’re a foreigner. Are you brave enough to come into this? So, I’m going in I’m gonna go in and speak and share.

[00:01:57] Trying to keep it real like I try on this show and even in today’s episode. Hopefully I don’t disappear or get an exit band and get stuck in China for a while and like John Graham is on the show a few months ago and.  I feel like it’s my job. Some people say are you a reporter? I have a you know, I have a vlog, camera and other things as I’m going around but

[00:02:20] Well, maybe save some of this for the blah blah blah session about that after after the interview. Today’s interview is a good one. John’s, he’s the new host of China Business Cast. Him and I did a deal with Shlomo earlier this year and he became the new host the China businesscast podcast, which some of you might have listened to I was host there for quite a few years.

[00:02:41] It’s gone through a few different hosts and which is awesome and besides him being the host of China Businesscast, he’s also an expert on Chinese hosting and servers. He has he has Consulting in data companies. He’s done in Europe and in China and he’s a very experienced Tech person business person.

[00:03:01] We’ve worked together also a the client work and do with Unipro in Hong Kong and so he has amazing insights. And him and I have a conversation about you know, how do I not get my website blocked in China? How do I host in China is a common question, is a valuable question and we’re like not holding back.

[00:03:19] We’re talking about licenses and procedures and strategies that I think is pretty valuable and I hope you appreciate that too on the show. So without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s episode 271. So as I said, I will be heading into Guangzhou preparing and planning for the Cross Border Summit.

[00:03:47] We work really hard. This will be our fourth annual one here at Global From Asia. We have amazing partners and sponsors and attendees and speakers and all of that. If you enjoy the show and you want to support and you want to connect with these amazing people. It’s quite a challenge, honestly, like if these are the invitation letters and all the coordinating of these 20 plus speakers, two days plus also masterminds, VIPs,

[00:04:13] Thank you for those who purchased the tickets. If you are interested and want to check everything out, it’s a really appreciated to support us and see you there. I will be there about a month from today. It’s getting up quick October 22nd 23rd, 2019 Guangzhou China Fourth Annual If you can’t make it maybe share it with a friend that could. Much obliged, much appreciated.

[00:04:38] Okay, thank you everybody for tuning into a Global From Asia podcast. This is I’m really excited and happy to get our guest on today. He’s our host of China Business Cast, Jons Slemmer. Thanks for being here John. Yeah, it’s great to be here Mike. It’s been a while since we have been in touch, but are things have been good?

[00:05:01] Yeah, it’s really awesome. I’m really happy to, we’re chatting about the China Businesscast Show. It’s awesome that you’re, you’re growing it and there’s more hosts coming on and addition to being the host of the China businesscast, you’re also the founder of Red Star Consulting which we’ll talk about today, which is helping getting companies.

[00:05:22] I’d say online hosted in China. If that’s correct. Yeah, that is one of the things we do we we do more things and we’re actually soon rebranding and adding more services and solutions to to our offerings. But that’s basically the core how we started. I started helping businesses International businesses get online on the Chinese internet, which is somewhat of a challenge at times.

[00:05:48] It’s totally yeah, yeah, I mean it’s an important one. I think people always ask and it’s a pleasure to have you here to fill that gap on today’s show. I think we chat about the little bit before the show before recording but you know, the common question least I hear is how do I make sure my site doesn’t get blocked in China, right?

[00:06:11] Like that’s I think. The first thing people ask and I think that usually means they don’t exactly know the scenario, but I think it’s that one you guess probably quite often too? Um, not so much how to do, yeah, we go over it with our client. So the customers that we helped basically they already they want to do a market entry into China digitally.

[00:06:39] And then I see two paths basically or you can very early on as like an experimental, see if there’s a market fit use Hong Kong as a proximity close to to Mainland China and host your website there or if you’re already sure of your market go into into the Chinese market full and then go through all the Chinese processes that you need to do to become fully legal on the Chinese internet.

[00:07:08] Exactly other common ones we chatted about before is a course trying to not put in like Western social media Widgets or plugins or fonts as well is another another good tip I’d say and yeah, so so at the beginning of of projects that we do we do like an audit on what there is what the website already currently has and.

[00:07:32] The website is usually built with a western mindset. So it has like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Etc. and these widgets. They just, their R&D services are blocked in China. So that’s, that’s a no-go. So, for your China website, China facing website, you really need to basically build a copy of your existing website and really tailor it to, to China and what you just mentioned are like the social media networks that from a technical.

[00:08:02] standpoint, you have to do a few things differently actually don’t have to do too much to make your site pretty like well suited for the Chinese markets, but there’s a few things that you need to do to make that a better match.  Yeah, we’ll go through that a little bit today. And I think yeah, I think it’s probably the best long-term is just having two separate websites.

[00:08:28] I think right your Chinese website, which almost is. Different content almost I mean depending on what kind of business or web stuff you’re talking about, but I think I think like, you know, wechat has to I don’t want, I’m not so technical as you but to I call it servers or database is almost for their users, right I think and so I think.

[00:08:52] It’s more complicated.  We used to have the used to have in the past to just to quickly add or remove. They used to have like two like an international version and then the Chinese version. But at over the last one and a half two years I’d say that has like fully Consolidated into one one thing. So if you have a WeChat account, or if it WeChat official accounts, that’s what I think you’re mentioning at their now fully accessible for everyone on the wechat.

[00:09:21] Ecosystem. Yeah, I mean so it’s kind of funny how the Chinese, example of course tensor which has the Chinese software that or system and they actually have to have like a overseas system if they well when I think they retreated a really I think the whole chat Wars has taken a little bit of. I think people have just decided, you know, the winners are the winners where they are.

[00:09:47] You know, we wechat, WhatsApp, you know, a line, a little bit Facebook Messenger. So I think when the war is ended and we chat basically just decided to focus mostly in China. But before, when they’re really trying to go global, they set up almost two systems like to you know said especially the official accounts which is kind of like a Chinese website or a Chinese Facebook page.

[00:10:11] You had to get one inside China, one outside China depending accordingly are targeting Chinese. I think I told his jobs but a friend that does a tech startup in China US got really mad. Because he spent a lot of time verifying and opening WeChat official account. And then he realized it was on the international.

[00:10:31] It was a US based one, which didn’t reach the Chinese Community let’s say our users and she says what’s the point if I can’t reach the Chinese users. But it was a very confusing situation and therefore it’s I think it’s a great thing that they have resolved that issue or just consolidated into one Global platform.

[00:10:51] And of course the majority of the users like 90, whatever percent is is fully China in mainland China. The other part is Chinese people outside of China and it’s like a tiny part as international audience that that is also using WeChat but comparatively that is, it’s really small or for is like us with yeah Chinese family relations or whatever you want to call it.

[00:11:18] Yeah, exactly. So, yeah. So basically I, going back to the point I think. It’s still safer to have maybe a Chinese language. Of course, there’s a whole question of TLD like .cn, .com, pinion. I don’t know but I think some people try to have it on the same website, you know like /CN or

[00:11:44] /ch, but I usually would suggest having a completely separate blank IP or location or even even content for their Chinese website. I agree with that. So our, what I advise customers they let’s say that’s their website and then if they want to have a Chinese facing company website, then I would recommend them or to register that in some kind of variation depending on the availability of the top level domain.

[00:12:18] and and in based with that… If it’s a Chinese facing website, you need content to live in China in Chinese. So your original English content, see if you can get it translated or localized localized i’s better than just pure translation. I see some customers coming to us wait like they use Google Translate and then the Chinese doesn’t really make much sense because it had a translation services like yeah, it’s great.

[00:12:46] You get a little bit of an understanding of what the translation should be but it’s not proper properly translated or properly localized. So yeah, I would go with a with a. Chinese facing domain name so .cn and .com and then you need Chinese content and then the choice is up to you where you are in your business phase on where you want to host your website in Hong Kong.

[00:13:11] I see that as the first level of options or fully go into China and host the website in China, but at these are a lot more requirements and rules and complexity which we can talk about in a bit as well. Yeah, I think I think they Guess The Next Step, but I kind of met obviously this could be a touchy subject.

[00:13:34] But of course we should face it. Why websites might get blocked. I could I don’t know I get a little bit more risky lately on some of the content here, but it’s up to you how you you know, I don’t like pulling you into it. But obviously if somebody says anti-chinese government type of things that goes against the policies or that’s the whole reason by you hosting in China or you know wanting to not get blocked in China is you’re not going to do something that say something that the government.

[00:14:03] Doesn’t want you to say I mean right now. From my perspective is real easy. If you want to do business in China, you gotta follow the business environment and business environment here is controlled by the Chinese government and they have a self-censoring policy in certain things. They don’t want you to talk about yeah if you have issues if you have issues with that then don’t do business in China.

[00:14:29] In and of course, I’m not happy with everything that happens here, but I for me for myself, morality, I’m flexible enough to to move her in between if. Morality does not allow that then you should not do business in China. Yeah, I didn’t put this on my agenda and weakest we can skip it or whatever and editing for what but the whole Google story.

[00:14:52] I liked it. I talked to some my personal blog back when it happened. I was in China 2009 to 2010 time frame if I remember it correctly and there’s probably never going to be exact story, but there was something that made Google decide they were going to stop filtering their results in like complying with the

[00:15:16] Local requirements or laws that they needed to do and then they thought they just kind of thought that they could get the Chinese going to allow them to do that or they didn’t care if they didn’t get to do that and then they you know, it was And they got they didn’t win that. They lost.

[00:15:36] I think they left mostly left China and their site got blocked and then they went to 2010. I think that’s what it still are. But that’s I think blocked in China and past that go everything Google got blocked before that. I think 2009 or so Google stuff. Mostly worked. I think maybe YouTube didn’t but you know, I remember that.

[00:15:59] Remember that news articles reading and I just I don’t know. I think if Google loses, you know, everybody could lose, just this is not negotiable and like you said if you’re not whatever reason that willing or able interest to do that, you know, you just. Not outside and that’s what they did.

[00:16:20] They chose to basically leave China day. They left some research and developments in R&D centers intact and they still have some from from a knowledge. So Google is still like physically present in China just not as a web searching engine not as a YouTube channel, but some of their Google businesses are still still here.

[00:16:45] But yeah, they decided basically to to to leave China and this year and last year. They were working on that new Chinese search engine that was in the news a lot as well. And there’s also around the same questions like. I don’t want to put a new search engine in that like filters and complied through a local regulations.

[00:17:03] But also a lot of backlash from like US government and other policymakers around the world for that. So it is a difficult situation and it really depends in if you’re willing to do business here or not. Yeah, I know. I guess we’ll just let the listener decide their own internal policy. But I mean it gets the complaint that I would say against Google is they agree to do it?

[00:17:28] And they complied and then it decided to not comply. So I mean my argument to, to them would be if you’re not going to agree to the you know, whether you like it or not. I can’t really change later. I mean I guess is what I would say. Well their, a the policy’s like do no evil or something, right? Like every mega-corporation.

[00:17:50] Even if your policy is do no evil. You’re still some what’s flexible and. I’m sure they don’t mean do evil but still gotta earn money and Money Money Talks. Yeah, so, you know we can talk, I know ICP license is a Hot Topic and that’s the you were saying earlier about the more complex or what’s the steps?

[00:18:14] I think that’s kind of like the main step to getting legal in China with your website or web business. Yeah, so let’s say that you want to give explore to Market you maybe had a website and in Hong Kong for a year or bit a you really want to move into hosting your website into China. Then there’s a few things that you need that cost time and cost money.

[00:18:41] One of the things for your website is called an ICP license. Or there, there’s  different versions of it. And that is especially since this year since like Chinese New Year Spring Festival. I getting way more complicated and more expensive actually again, because they introduce more rules and more licenses the tool to even start considering that you need.

[00:19:07] There’s two options. You need to start a Chinese business because these licenses can only be acquired by a chinese business entities. So as a foreign business you can start what’s called a WOFE or your wholly foreign-owned entity. So that’s a basically a Chinese subsidiary of your foreign business that you completely own.

[00:19:30] And with that to can apply for for some of these licenses some of them are still off limits or during technically not off limits, but they’re so expensive that it’s basically off-limit, but that but that’s basically where you have to start. This whole subject area is quite complex and ever-changing literally every month.

[00:19:53] There’s new rules and updates. So in short you need a you need a partner to help you figure this out. So we have clients that are quite large even a few that are on the stock exchanges around the world. And they have a few hundred people in China working for them, but they still need a someone, their own Chinese internal staff can’t figure it out or it’s too complicated or it takes them too much time to figure it out and then they reach out for for help and consultancy around that to to make that happen basically. Agreed and I think the different levels of complexity.

[00:20:30] I like to kind of break it. I’m gonna say in as up-to-date getting used to being down here Thailand. But uh, I think there’s when I remember there was two levels. There’s like bit more basic level which is more like a static website well not static but like a company website where you’re just displaying your company information that’s relevant to we are company license.

[00:20:51] And I think the second and this one I remember is more complex level which is where it’s like user-generated content or where there’s even comments on your blog count. I think or you know coursing kind of forum social media styles like users can post freely and that’s much more sensitive and complicated because as you can imagine.

[00:21:12] You and not anybody, you know users can say stuff that might not want to be said in China. So that one’s I almost think impossible far as I remember was almost impossible for a foreigner to get most likely usually usually it’s easier for a foreigner. To get the first level which is kind of just saying.

[00:21:31] Hey, let me host the website that just shows my products or services and let’s people like contact me for more information. If I remember right? Yeah, correct I’ll break down the list. So the first level that you’re just been talking about is called on ICP baton or an English to call sometimes ICP filing or has other seminars, but that’s the basic level.

[00:21:58] Every website needs that.  Combines with that and actually the ICP Bayon is relatively easy to get and then easiest definitely relative. Let’s compare to the ark but compared to the other licenses. This is the easier one but since around February March this year now, so the requirement to get a PSB license combines with your ICP Bayon.

[00:22:27] I which is goes through the police station departments PSB, whatever government department is exactly as every Province every city has a different Department in charge for that. I bet is basically related to police security and cyber security. So the ICP Bayon is just okay, you’re allowed to host a website.

[00:22:52] And then the PSV is about the security of the online Internet. Mmm. And those are those are become mandatory both now, for example, the Tier 1 cities like Beijing Shanghai Shenzhen, it’s mandatory. Tier 2 and Lower, lower provinces, it’s being rolled out, but it’s not fully been implemented yet. So in Chengdu where I am based.

[00:23:18] They expect it to be later this year or early next year to be mandatory. So it really depends a little bit where your business is located but this is coming all over China and this is what I see a lot of companies not being aware of yet of the PSB license and companies that have gotten ICP Bayon license in the past now retroactively need to get a PSB license as well.

[00:23:45] So this is going to be a big thing. And for a lot of foreign businesses that are unaware of and that’s going to be an interesting how that’s going to play out. Yeah, so from my experience, I don’t think it’s active anymore. But I had gotten one back in my days at the basic level 1 and I. I can look it up for you

[00:24:08] If you if you give me the domain name. Oh, really? This is all like public information not like your whole application is not public but there’s just databases with all the ICP license that have been given out same for, for like the PSB license and some of his orders. They’re just like company registration in Hong Kong.

[00:24:29] You can look up my company name and find out, instead of information of everything and the same goes for these licenses in China. at least, I think, but. I’ll look it up after the show for you.  But basically I remember I’d take a photo. I remember it was like this.

[00:24:51] It’s obviously cloudy. It is like 10 years ago, but I remember having to go to like a licensed photo area like they had to have a license had to be approved by the IC, well the government then take it and then that your ID and photo is connected to the license, right? So what that means is in my meaning is that person that I was liable for the content on this website is kind of how I interpreted that right like my music for sure.

[00:25:19] This is the whole reason why they do these processes. So for an ICP Bayon right now,you needs the legal representative. So the company owner basically or the legal representative of the company and you need a Web Master role. They can be the same but preferably it’s a different one because the webmaster has to be a Chinese person and the webmaster is responsible at together with the legal representative for for the content that you put on.

[00:25:48] And if you start talking about things you shouldn’t be talking about in China. Then you can be damn sure if they find out and they will find out real quick that that you will have some friendly police officers at your front door because all that information where you live and where company is registered is also all part of the application process.

[00:26:08] I can remember another site. It was, there was like all these Twitter clones coming out but while weibo is still brand new, you know, I think there was even still so many weibo clones or Twitter clones and this one was a Shenzhen-based company, won’t say the name, but I knew I met you know, I did all these startup weekends and everything and I met the guy this one of the co-founders and to they got shut down while I knew them.

[00:26:32] So it didn’t get blocked you get you know, like Twitter just gets blocked. But if you don’t follow this stuff you get shut down. So he says he was a CTO co-founder and they are, they basically visited his our company in the middle of the night, he says on a weekday and pulled the plug. He said like totally took them offline.

[00:26:56] They had servers in the office and they just came there and took him offline because they said they didn’t follow strict enough. Because that was like a user-generated license rice. That’s a much more sensitive on where’s users? So they just for the one be the one we just talked about this like the basic level.

[00:27:10] If I go back to I said I would make a list so we have two basic level with her ICP Bayon and and a PSB. Then you have a network and culture license. That’s like sort of a translation that we use for for the user generated content license basically, so anything that touches on culture or user-generated content that needs a license and that is super hard to get. Then you need a commercial ICP license if you want to do digital payments, so if you want to get paid online and that one is also very hard and very expensive to get and according to

[00:27:50] the regulations, foreign companies should be able to apply for it. But I have no known cases that a foreign company has successfully applied and got them that license approved. And then if you want to be like a Taobao kind of thing like a marketplace where you’re hosting other people’s content or shops or products, you need an EDI or an electronic data interchange license, and these are just the most five common ones and then there’s like a whole set.

[00:28:20] Of other ones that are like even more fake and some need pre-approval from other departments if it’s for example about education you need another license to get, so it’s really not easy. Yeah. I think it really just boils down to do they trust you’re going to do what they want you to do and not let any bad stuff get put on there.

[00:28:43] I think that’s the summary in my in my opinion is you know, and then as far as your comments against a reason why maybe foreigners don’t get certain licenses. I kind of blame artists like Google like, you know, they had gotten a definitely certain amount of these licenses and promised to government they would comply so I think it just shows the Chinese government, foreigners don’t listen to or follow or understand her ultimately.

[00:29:07] will do what there’s promising to do? Right? I think it’s kind of like yeah, maybe. And in a lot of cases a lot of things is possible, but it is just a number touching maybe on a little different point of view of China getting things done here is a different approach. So even for Chinese businesses to get certain things done, you need to wine and dine and do more things to get things done and foreign businesses are not able

[00:29:38] To build the same, Guanxi of those relationships or they’re not willing to go through that length from a morality or more practical standpoint. So yeah depends as well. Yeah. Yeah. So although I did say my wife agree with me. She’s Chinese and I say like it takes a long time to build this Guanxi.

[00:30:04] But once you do have it, you know, I mean it’s hard to hard to lose but it’s we’re in the west a trust easily and give almost everybody like permissions and ability to do certain things. But if you break the rule you lose it that trust rather quickly, but I feel like in China sometimes it takes a lot of time to build up the trust and then you know, you once you have it it does stay there quite a long time, hopefully.

[00:30:29] It’s like the whole. Yeah, I agree with you. I’m building up that relationship takes a lot of time and effort, but then you basically have it for life as long as you will keep maintaining it. Yeah, so going through my list, I guess.  We can talk about some fun stuff first case studies, but maybe my last one is what it is.

[00:30:51] I guess we kind of touched about it, but what’s the risks of hosting in China? I would say the risks while hosting outside of China to reverse the question basically here people are like, oh, I’m afraid my site is gonna get blocked. Yeah, if you’re CNN, you have a risk of your site getting blocked.

[00:31:12] But if you’re just business, they don’t really care what you’re doing. So getting blocked is actually quite uncommon as long as you don’t have any specific content that they don’t like. Just again, which I touched upon and in the beginning if your website is not optimized for how the Chinese internet work because here just the services are different like YouTube and Twitter, but also technically you can do a few things to make your site just load very slowly in China.

[00:31:46] Then you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. So if you’re aware of those things you can have a website outside of China. That is relatively okay, but with the great firewall, your website is always going to be slower than hosting in China. So if you really want to engage with Chinese consumers and they are probably the most depending, demanding not depending are in a demanding and most expecting.

[00:32:13] Consumer group around the world. You have to be in China. Like if your site takes longer than two seconds or if you have takes longer than two seconds to load then you’ve already lost or your customers. Basically. If you don’t respond to a customer service request within 5 minutes, you’re not making the sales deals.

[00:32:29] So they are really demanding here and for that you need to put your digital infrastructure in China if you would really want to engage with those Chinese consumers. Well, I have the ability to ask why do a lot of like sometimes like I even go to It’s not redirection is secure its likes.

[00:32:51] I think you can manually type it in but a lot of times these sites are, I noticed there’s not as much HTTPS or SSL in China as overseas in my limited. But I’ve seen I don’t know if you have been painting around, notice that I agree with that but. No, I I’ve seen it and it’s definitely a frustration or a pet peeve of mine as well and hate you like.

[00:33:15] I like I don’t have to definitive answer to that question, but I have two reasons why. They came from a less secure standpoint or like less pressure on security in in the past that has definitely been easing, changing around China and Chinese government is putting a lot more emphasis on that as well.

[00:33:37] And then the other standpoint is SSL certificates so it’s like a technical thing. You need to buy a certificate to secure your your domain name, are actually quite expensive in China. So that’s like a cost kind of thing and therefore a lot of companies is that, well, no one really cares. Why do I spend the money?

[00:33:56] If no one really cares it’s not that important and the combination of that has led to to a situation but I I’m seeing a changing and I think within a year next to that’s going to be. Everything is going to be secure as well. It’s got to be is because it’s ridiculous right now how certain services like important government services are running on unsecured under ninety eight computers and then an unsecured website from a security Sense part is ludicrous.

[00:34:33] Yeah, and my second funny fact, I just popped in my mind as we have to get VPN into China because I’m in Thailand to get into online banking in China. I have to have it won’t work. If I’m in Thailand it just like my wife Wendy house me of course, but she just literally won’t load like it doesn’t let you log in but I had to teach her how to use a VPN to get a Chinese IP.

[00:34:56] So then log in and it worked, it’s crazy. The other that is the whole new divide in the world not just physically but also digitally that’s in there. There’s two different internets on my opinion. Yeah.

[00:35:14] So yeah, this is a fascinating challenge. Thanks so much for sharing. And of course people should talk about China businesscast. I don’t know if one share actually that you got the show and official account. I remember it people WeChat account. And and then of course, you have your your Consulting business where you help people get hosted in China and all these different ways of talking about so I don’t know if you want share a little about.

[00:35:42] Yeah, so for I like I’ve known you for quite a few years now. Yeah, I’ve been working working together on a few things but we started talking. I think it was January mid-January roughly because you are hosting the China businesscast before that and we were talking and basically I took over around the early February around there and I started releasing the, my content for it.

[00:36:10] China Businesscast from the 1st of March of this year. So that’s been definitely been an adventure. A lot of things has happened on the channel business cast we put about I just counted before the show, we put out 14 episodes nice. Uhm, 13 and one is being published later this week. I’ve already got about eight record.

[00:36:33] It’s for the future. So with a two week schedule were we’re we’re looking pretty good for the next few months. We added a few guest hosts, which is like really been exciting so we can hopefully start producing more content than just one, one person.  Build a WeChat official accounts because that’s just my thing like that’s where I do a lot of my work in so that’s not too much of an issue for our for me to build that.

[00:37:02] Have you build a wechat many programs. You can listen on the. To our podcast on WeChat directly, which is very cool. One thing that was less cool as we got blocked while we’re on this topic. We got blocked on iTunes or apple podcast. Yeah. You mentioned that. In China, so we’re still ever around the world but in China, I can’t access it.

[00:37:28] And yeah, cuz I yeah I said I could find it. I’m here in Thailand. I found it. But it depends where your region for your app store account to set so if you’re set to the US or Thailand or whatever, it’s no biggie. If you have a Chinese iTunes account or Apple account, then doesn’t load. Crazy. So I don’t know why I like I emailed Apple they never replied back to me.

[00:37:55] So good work Apple but yeah, probably talking about something that was a bit too sensitive, but we’re still available on WeChat. So that’s that’s that’s good. Great. I’m a remember he said like, it’s CBC podcasts in the area. I don’t know. So we if you want to be on WeChat, certain names and titles are in official accounts or not.

[00:38:24] Possible or they don’t allow that so China like just using the word China in your your name is not allowed so we couldn’t just China businesscast because the word that’s what were called but that was not allowed. So then we’ll just be business cast but that will not make sense. So we have to go with CBC podcasts and and and there’s all kinds of things like that happening in China were.

[00:38:49] For other projects as well where we have to be mindful of what we can do and what we cannot do and anything that is related to China the name the flag Chinese looking stars that are use emblems, world maps. Those are all off limits and some things that you should work around.  Yeah. Well, if it’s been great, so where where can people find you all your different things online or rebranding on your your business stuff?

[00:39:23] Yeah. So like the easiest ways to reach out to my LinkedIn I guess to start. Yeah even really so they’re really putting some amazing content on your LinkedIn. Yeah with with a company we’ve been building a weekly China digital update. So we cover basically everything digital or marketing or what’s hot and in China for every week.

[00:39:45] So we’ve been pushing that out that’s available on LinkedIn that’s available on our other WeChat official accounts and then the company websites, I guess red star, which is going to be rebranded as will have to redirect it after when that’s done. So that’s it’s not going to be a problem as well.

[00:40:05] I guess those are good ways to to find out more about me and of course the podcast China business On WeChat if you just search CVC podcasting then you also find us pop up. Great. Yeah, well link it up in the notes as always and it’s been a pleasure having you on Johnson. Yeah, let’s let’s keep on helping with the content Creation in the community building in China and other parts of Asia.

[00:40:34] You’re the original China China Hustler. So I’m trying to set and continue your example. It’s a Grind, man. It’s just content creation is a lot of work, but it’s, it is.  It is a lot of work. But thank God I have a team to help with that some. Awesome. And so sometimes people think oh you put out so much content.

[00:40:53] Yeah. Yeah. I know I do but it’s not always always everything is me. Yeah. Okay. Thanks again. Okay. Thanks a lot. Mike. Have a good time. Are you looking for banking options in Hong Kong? We all are, aren’t we? neat.HK is a GFA partner. That means they are a sponsor, a supporter of our content and what we do here they’ve been pioneering in the online banking space and Hong Kong and fintech and over the years.

[00:41:23] They have been growing quite a bit. We’ve been collecting all the feedback we can and working closely with to improve and grow their services to help. Business owners like you listening with their business if you’re interested in checking them out. Neat HK, N-E-A-T dot hk where they can help you with virtual banking.

[00:41:44] Technically. I think they can say not bank but course Financial Solutions and they also just released the USD account. They will also be coming to the Cross Border Summit and we appreciate their support. Tell them GFA sent you. All right. Thank you John for sharing glad we finally got you on the.

[00:42:02] I’m really happy. We made a nice deal for China businesscast as content creators is a ton of work and I wanted to focus on one show and I know a lot of people miss, missed me out there. I got some messages China Businesscast definitely recommend subscribing. If you’re not already, it’s more domestic China business matters.

[00:42:25] Also John’s is finally while we got a crying baby. Here it is. Seriously, I think anybody known airport life and anywhere or world, but definitely in in Asia or wherever I’m all good though. But yeah, I mean John’s is doing amazing work there. I’m so happy. He’s following through with an idea that we’d always talked about multiple hosts.

[00:42:43] He has guest hosts guest speakers people on the ground in China different parts of China, which is really really amazing and we are just so happy to just kind of build up this content and sharing knowledge and strategies with people that are interested to learn. You know, I just I want to empower people.

[00:43:01] It’s not about money. It’s about the will to learn and live. I’m mentoring some eCommerce Sellers as well, which is really rewarding and it’s just about taking action and it’s not about money, right? You can’t buy. Of course, you can buy a company like Alpha Rock was doing but you gotta still execute you got to keep applying and learning and adapting and growing if it keeps it sit back and expect things to happen.

[00:43:24] They’re not gonna happen. But yeah, I mean these Chinese hosts scare me, you know, another one is wp2 my buddy Leon programmed this many years ago. It’s a really popular plug-in and in, in the WordPress space this WordPress 2 static HTML. So I use that on my own Chinese blog. I have a Chinese blog at mailini.

[00:43:48].com, which is my Chinese name And I don’t host in China. I mean I could if I had a server I just not even WordPress. I could I do it on a development server. I don’t like it so geeky with you and I just spit out HTML files and it’s looks just like WordPress but it’s static. I actually really recommend it for Chinese hosting if you’re interested WP the number two or just search static websites in your WordPress plugin know probably one of those top ones is a couple others but.

[00:44:21] We’re I’m helping out Leon also and it’s amazing the about ability to convert your WordPress into static. It’s faster. It’s more secure especially with Chinese hosting’s and the requirements for servers there and you getting database access and in protecting that an SSL.  You know, you could put it into Chinese server or US server, but it’s way easier.

[00:44:42] You can just email it to somebody say here just upload these files to the server. I should talk to John’s about this we’ve recorded the show just a few days ago. But that’s also another option. I know a lot of you actually Global From Asia still on static still on WordPress. I want to get off his so scary and we’ve gotten attacked multiple times seriously multiple times people want to crack because yeah, we’ve been doing six years of consistent content and are you know that builds up value in the websites, you know traffic and these hackers want to crack into your website pump in their spam.

[00:45:16] So he’s gonna make sure you stay up-to-date and it’s isn’t it? Unbelievable. There’s not much ssl’s in China. I mean, you can see it go to to it will be not secure. Of course, if you manually type it in it HTTPS, it will work. But for some reason they’re not forcing us SSL.

[00:45:35] There may be some reason. I don’t know but as far as recording today, I just tested it it doesn’t force you to do. It doesn’t force you to be a which in West seems like it’s almost requirements for websites to be secure but it is it is amazing and.  Chinese hosting is tricky and it’s liable, right?

[00:46:03] So I just want to know what you guys think of today’s show and. You’re hosting and being the water right and you want to be the brand you most likely you’re not going to website and we didn’t say that too much in the show. But most people sell on WeChat stores Tmall, taobao. Jingdong, you know, some people says you don’t need to put a website online, too.

[00:46:29] To do business in China people don’t use a website’s right? I mean. It’s kind of sad you actually all this sad said we chat even Facebook. I mean heck even shopify’s almost it’s still kind of your website, but it’s in their server and things like that and really Global here.  So what I’m trying to say is being the water, you know being the brand we’ve talked about so many times actually.

[00:46:55] I was just invited to speak at a branding conference, which is pretty awesome in Singapore. Let you know about that later, but yeah branding is I think the most important thing in long term, you know trademark and IP we’ve had Tayan on the show last week, but you know, I still got a host content, you know and to get into China you.

[00:47:17] He probably would probably be best and weChat, jingdong, Taobao, Tmall, that stuff, but I still recommend the website. Come on. Maybe don’t do WordPress because it is scary and it’s not so secure. Sometimes and I can’t even read some of the cpanel stuff in China. My Chinese Isn’t so perfect that I can read high-tech Chinese characters.

[00:47:39] So, you know spitting out HTML even just a static website. I still think people are searching on baidu. People are you know trying to read your website depending on your industry? I still think it’s good to have a corporate website. Maybe you’re driving it to the table onto the WeChat. If you look on you go to contact.

[00:47:56] I do have a QR code and I tell you how to find my wechat, but I still like to have a home base for for China and but I don’t have a Chinese server right now. They’re actually really expensive too. You know, we don’t talk about in the interview but Aliu which is by Alibaba. They’re they’re pretty pricey.

[00:48:16] I mean there’s others too. I think they’ve emailed, people have emailed me on the show wanting some solutions want me to promote their solutions for Chinese hosting. There are some lower costs must shared server ones, but I think it is because it’s so highly regulated there and the risks are so high for a hosting company.

[00:48:33] They just keep their costs higher and it really discourages people. Another, since when is blah blah blah session is I bought a lot of websites off Chinese bloggers back in 2010-11 because the government put in a huge regulations for these licenses and shut their servers down but I still have maybe their domains because it was like GoDaddy or whatever but they didn’t they kind of gave up on their blogs was really sad and I was doing it in marketing at a time.

[00:48:59] So I was picking up domains for like a couple hundred RMB and I don’t get into Old School SEO strategies, buddy. There’s value to content websites. So I was picking up these bloggers in China because they just were fed up and it didn’t either no or wants to figure out westerns hosting Solutions and didn’t want to or weren’t able to get through the you the Chinese licensing requirements.

[00:49:22] It’s sad. If someone might I look at now. There are like spam ads, you know, those pop-up Park websites know it’s just all these blogs just died. I remember in 2010 2011. I picked up some of them and. I don’t think sadly. I didn’t keep them either. He’s in for a little while. But John is just not normal.

[00:49:43] I so many people emailed me Mike. How do I host my website in China? How do I host a website in China how to do Chinese SEO? Unfortunately, he’s not them probably the best use of your time more depending on the course the industry, but you’re probably more better offs focusing on WeChat, Social media or weibo, taobao and tmall just paying ads paying them.

[00:50:05] You know, that’s that’s the way things are going but I would say it’s also important to at least have a like a one-pager, you know, maybe indexing dot HTML homepage find some kind of solutions or talk to John’s. John’s is awesome. You know, he’s content career like like me here and China business cast host and supporter and.

[00:50:28] We are working together and that’s what this community is about helping each other. So I hope today’s session helped you out people. Keep moving around me. It’s kind of freaking me out. Keep looking make sure my bags are okay. I’m gonna get off this microphone. I got a little bit extra time in the airport and I’m working on the newsletter next if you enjoy the podcast and want to get email.

[00:50:51] It’snot really spam. I don’t think we try to make quality emails once a week usually on Thursday and I think we have the getting started email series like 7 or 8 and we try to pitch you something at the end which not many people by but you know, there’s also the newsletter on Thursdays we send out we try to keep it interesting.

[00:51:10] Well, of course what content we’re doing here things that are happening I try to ask some of my insights if you like that go to Global from / subscribe. And you can pop on over there. I think I’ll give you a couple options if you want the welcome series or just get on the newsletter try to work on my segmentation.

[00:51:27] So hard Western hosting or You know Chinese hosting hosting websites is not easy long-term, you know, of course you can pop up a website but it’s about maintaining it updating it. I think all my email subscription buttons are working all over the website, but if doesn’t work, email still Works

[00:51:46] Let me know what you think of the show. Let me know what you think of this blah blah blah session and I’ve been also asking some questions in our newsletter and getting some getting some replies. So I think that’s it for now. We’re all right at the 10-minute Mark literally at least on my recording. Alvin are amazing editor will make this show beautiful probably cut out some of the BS that I stuck in here.

[00:52:07] So thank you again for listening and I am working on this letter next. Take care. Bye bye. To get more info about running an international business. Please visit our website at That’s Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed.

[00:52:28] Thanks for tuning in.

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