Best server for websites targeting Mainland China

Written By Wolfgang Geiger

WordPress developer in Hong Kong specializing in making websites work in Mainland China. More information on the About Me page

If you want your website to load fast, server location is important, but only to a certain extent.

Let’s see what choices you have from best to worst:

Server within Mainland China

For a website targeting Mainland China, this is, of course, the ideal scenario. However, you will have to get an ICP license, which is difficult – if you’re not a decently sized company with a subsidiary in Mainland China, virtually impossible.

As a result, I don’t go into that in any more detail – if you want to take this route, look for specialists in this field, I’m not one of them.

Server close to Mainland China

Hong Kong

I personally prefer Hong Kong for this – for WordPress I usually go with Kinsta (shamelessly using my affiliat link). It comes in combination with Cloudflare and works well here (I live in Hong Kong).

If you want to go as Chinese as possible without using an ICP license, Alibaba Cloud in Hong Kong might be what you’re looking for. It’s very similar to AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, just a Chinese version.

Hong Kong has a great internet connection to the Mainland and as a result, particularly Guangdong and other Southern provinces have pretty good loading speeds for websites in Hong Kong (as long as no blocked files are loaded of course).


Japan works surprisingly well, particluarly around Beijing and other Northern parts of China. If you have the choice, Japan would be my second choice behind Hong Kong.


Given its geographic proximity to the Mainland, Taiwan also works very well, but the server infrastructure might not be as developed as e.g. Japan.

US West Coast

Given the infrastructure of cables connecting the US and Asia, the US West Coast is the best solution if you want to cover America, Asia and the rest of the world.

Depending on where you are in Mainland China, the US West Coast might even beat out Asian countries like Singapore when it comes to latency and loading speed.

Other Asian neighbours and countries nearby

Singapore has by far the best server infrastructure in Asia (outside of Mainland China).

What is interesting is that the connection between the Singapore area and China is a very loose one and loading speeds are, as a result, not as good as one would assume.

India is another superpower with good IT infrastructure and – very important – the providers we are used to in the West like AWS, DigitalOcean, Google Cloud, etc.

However, India and China’s relationship has its ups and downs, so I wouldn’t bet on placing my website there if India isn’t a major target market as well.

Other neighbouring countries do slowly catch up with their own data centres, but it will take some time until they become relevant enough to beat out the locations mentioned above.

Europe, Africa, America, etc.

Having said all the above, if Mainland China isn’t your number 1 target market, you can most likely leave your website where it is currently hosted if the below worst cases aren’t true and your website itself is optimized for Mainland China.

Worst servers

Regardless of location, you should avoid the following at all cost:

  • – more about that in this article
  • Shared hosting – it is simply too slow in most cases, go for WordPress specialized hosting instead

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