The Great Firewall of China - China website testing and monitoring

2021/11/17 | 4 mins

[Updated in Jan 2022]

First, there was The Great Wall Of China. Then the Berlin Wall. Some see these walls as a way to protect the citizens living in the country, while others saw it as a way for governments to oppress and restricts the residents living around it.

Now there is the Great Firewall of China - not a physical one that blocks people from leaving, but a virtual one that prevents harmful information to the Communist Party from circulated the country. With over 700 million users on the Internet, it restricts almost a quarter of the world's online population.

The Great Firewall Of China is a collection of technologies run by Chinese hosting providers, telecom providers, major Chinese tech companies, and the government.

Any information sent through the Chinese Internet can be immediately read by these technologies and can take these actions:

  • Block the website URL using DNS Poisoning (Diverting the traffic to another website)
  • Block the website using your web provider's setting to block the ports and IP addresses associated with the website.
  • Filter content by keywords
  • Block and interrupt VPN services

China's platform replacements

From different web browsers, app stores, social media networks, videos, chat apps, phone brands, and the internet, China's Great Firewall is the world's most sophisticated system of internet censorship and control mechanism.

As websites such as Google and Twitter are blocked, China has replaced them with their own version. Baidu is the search engine platform that has replaced Google as it is blocked throughout China. This allows the government and the businesses to regulate the news and control the information circulating around the country.

Their giant mechanism of surveillance and censorship has blocked a number of Western websites deemed harmful or inappropriate. It continues to impose more rules that cut off Chinese citizens to the outside world and the other way around as well.

If your website is caught or blocked, then your website will be ranked lower in the search engine and have slower loading speed. This reduces and restricts the flow of traffic and customers finding your website. Even worse, your site could be outright blocked and you have no recourse to have it reinstated. To learn more about the Great Firewall of China, please check out our complete guide to the Great Firewall of China (GFoC).

That's why testing your website is crucial before it goes live, and on an ongoing basis to avoid surprises.

China website and performance testing

When your website is fully functional and your ICP License is, making sure your website speed is crucial for SEO purposes on Baidu, China's search engine. Performance testing is a great way to determine which webpage is performing better.

These are the two different testings that you can pick from:

Real User Monitoring (RUM)

RUM measures the response times and performance using actual devices and browsers. The results are shown through the user end, providing you the analytics of the bounce rates, page load speeds, and other performance metrics.

Real User Monitoring doesn't use scripts and captures every action, functionality, errors, and performance that a user goes through with an application in real-time.

This is perfect for detecting and diagnosing performance and speed problems on your website. As data is collected from your website, you're able to generate performance reports to ensure that your vendor's service level agreements are met.

Benefits of real user monitoring

  • No matter where you are, you can capture the experience of a user
  • You can look at individual users and cases to find out the root causes of a problem quicker
  • You have complete control of monitoring your website. This allows you to solve issues faster.

Limitations of real user monitoring

  • RUM can't tell you anything about your system or third party apps.
  • To find a problem, your users must experience that problem.

Synthetic Monitoring (STM)

STM simulates and mimics real user interactions and behaviors to create an educated performance assessment. This can be run periodically from different locations to get an overview of what your audience experiences when visits your site.

Synthetic Monitoring uses pre-recorded scripts that emulate the actions a user would take on your websites. It can be run 24/7 and can let you know if there are any problems instantly throughout your website.

This allows you to benchmark and understand whether your customer's experience is better than worse than users on other websites.

Benefits of synthetic monitoring

You'll be notified of an error before a real user. This allows you to respond faster and fix the problem before they even notice.

STM monitors your performance and reliability of your website 24/7 ensuring everything is running smoothly. It's easier to establish benchmarks for your website's performance. This allows you to test and figure out ways to improve your website while diagnosing problems when your website traffic and speed decrease.

Limitations to synthetic monitoring

  • Synthetic Monitoring doesn't tell you what the users on your website are actually experiencing.
  • As it uses scripts it may have problems with specific browsers, applications, or networks.

Having a performance testing solution for your website is crucial. As you may have unexpectedly added information that did not conform with China, STM and RUM testing can quickly pick it up and you can remedy the problem.

These testing methods gives you the ability to deep-dive into issues and resolve any shortcoming, giving you full control of your website to ensure user satisfaction and help you develop an edge over your competitors.

GoClick China - The best performance testing solution for Chinese websites

GoClick China is the best testing solution for the Chinese website market. With hands-on testing from real people on, real devices, throughout the country, it provides you a complete detailed overview of all your audience throughout China.

Providing you with comprehensive analytics, benchmarks, and insights that give you an unfair advantage of your competition. You'll gain complete transparency of what areas your website needs to improve and optimize so your company can be seen first in front of your target audience. It has never been easier to dominate the Chinese Market. Check GoClick China out to find out how we can make your website get seen by your ideal customers today.

To learn more about succeeding in the China, check out our other articles.
If you want to learn more about testing in China, check out our solutions.