A Guide to AWS China


A Guide to AWS China

AWS Availability in China

Can I access AWS in China?

To log into your AWS account for global regions from China, yes, you can do that without a VPN. AWS’s official site and the management console are not blocked in China.

Are websites hosted using AWS Global services available to Chinese users?  

Websites hosted outside China using AWS International may or may not be available to internet users in China depending on the content of your website and the services your company offers. (To check whether your website is blocked in China and test its response time, try the AppInChina website test tool)

The only way to guarantee that your website is available to Chinese users is to use a local cloud provider, such as AWS China. 

Can I use AWS China services with my existing AWS International account?

No, you will not be able to use AWS China services with your AWS International account. AWS China operates separately from AWS International in order to comply with Chinese laws and regulations.

AWS services in Mainland China are operated by two certified local companies. The AWS China (Beijing) Region, which has been generally available to Chinese customers since 2016, is operated by Beijing Sinnet Technology Co. Ltd. (Sinnet), while the AWS China (Ningxia) Region, launched in 2017, is operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co., Ltd. (NWCD).

To use resources in either or both regions, you will need to create an AWS China account. Just as you’re unable to access resources hosted in China using an AWS International account, you won’t be able to access resources provided by AWS International from within your AWS China account.

Is there a difference between the two AWS China regions? 

The two AWS China regions are operated by two different operators, Sinnet and NWCD. Both are certified and have the required licenses to operate their respective regions in full compliance with Chinese law, and are supported by AWS’s technology, guidance, and expertise.

The two regions together provide a total of 105 services, among which 88 are available in both regions. To check the other 17 services that are only provided in one of the two regions, please see AWS China’s Region Table page. 

China (Ningxia) Region operated by NWCD is currently offering a free tier and the pricing for most services is generally slightly lower compared to AWS China (Beijing) Region. However, certain business practices require that you use resources provided in the Beijing Region due to regulations on data storage and data center operation. Furthermore, businesses with specific latency requirements are more likely to employ services provided by Sinnet in Beijing Region as it enables faster responses in general. To check the latency difference from your browser to Beijing Region and Ningxia Region please visit CloudPing.info and check the results for China (Beijing) and China (Ningxia) at the bottom of the page.

Do I need an account for each region to use services provided in both AWS China regions?

No. With one AWS China Account, you will be able to use services provided in both the AWS China (Beijing) Region and AWS China (Ningxia) Region. However, if you use services provided in both regions you will need to complete your ICP Filing with both operators.

How do I host my website in China using AWS China services? 

You will need to create an AWS China account. See sections [3.2] and [3.3] below for more information.

You will also need to meet other regulatory requirements for which certain licenses and certificates may be required before you can legally host your website in China and launch your operations. See section [3.4] below for more information on this.

What is the official website for Amazon Web Services China Regions? 

www.amazonaws.cn

AWS China vs Other Cloud Service Providers

What are the benefits of using AWS China?

If you already have experience with AWS International, AWS China is probably the best solution for you because you will be able to:

  • Get started quickly with previous hands-on experience using the same management console, APIs, SDKs and CLIs
  • Deploy your existing code in China without having to repeat the coding process
  • Migrate your applications to AWS China with seamless cross-border connection using tools and solutions provided by AWS International and its partners
  • Establish connectivity between resources in AWS China and AWS International using services provided by the major Chinese internet service providers
  • Leverage the extensive experience of AWS’s staff in helping international companies enter and operate in the Chinese market

What other options are available? 

To see the list of the top 10 cloud providers in China, please refer to our cloud provider index page.

AWS China Account Creation

How do I start the account creation process?

Visit the account registration page to create your new AWS China account. You will be guided step by step through the entire process in English.

How long does the application process take?

The AWS China account opening process usually takes 3 to 5 days, excluding the ICP filing process.

What materials do I need to create an account?

Chinese Business License: 

You must provide the business license of your Chinese company. This can be a domestically-owned company, a wholly foreign-owned (WFOE) company or a joint venture. If you don’t have a Chinese company then you will need to establish one or work with a partner such as AppInChina. Establishing a Chinese company usually takes at least 3 months and requires renting a physical office and hiring local staff.

Information Security Administrator’s Personal ID: 

The AWS China account registration process requires that you provide the ID of the information security administrator of your account. He or she can be any person (Chinese or non-Chinese) employed by your Chinese company that speaks Chinese and currently lives in China. The ID document you provide can be a Chinese ID card or a passport. He or she will also need to provide a valid Chinese phone number as the government authorities will contact him/her if your account is involved in any illegal activities.

What other materials do I need?

You will need another set of materials for ICP filing after opening your AWS China account. Usually, the following materials are required:

  • Chinese company business license 
  • ID card / passport of the legal representative of the Chinese company
  • ID card / passport of the website administrator (usually the legal representative of the Chinese company)
  • Photo of the website administrator holding the Chinese company business license and his or her ID card / passport standing in front of a poster provided by the cloud provider
  • A signed and stamped hard copy of the website registration information verification form provided by the cloud provider

Supplementary materials you may also need to provide:

  • Domain name certificate provided by your domain name registrar
  • Letter of authorization signed and stamped by the Chinese company’s legal representative. This is required when the website administrator is different from the legal representative

The ICP filing process generally takes between 6 to 22 working days.

Pricing

Please refer to AWS China’s products page for pricing information.

Can I get promotional credit and/or a discount if I’m a new user of AWS China services? 

Yes, various promotional credit is offered depending on your organization type.

For the Portfolio Package, new users are offered up to CNY 100,000 / USD 15,000 Amazon Web Services Promotional Credit for up to 2 years.

For the Portfolio Plus Package, new users are offered up to CNY 100,000 / USD 15,000 Amazon Web Services Promotional Credit for 2 years,  or CNY 600,000 / USD 100,000 for 1 year.

For more details, please visit Amazon Web Services Activate China Benefits.

Apart from the promotional credit to help you get started on AWS China, you can also check out the free tier offered in AWS China (Ningxia) Region where three different types of free offers are available for a dozen different products. Click here for more details.

What payment methods are available? 

Upon receiving your invoice you can either make payments to the corporate account of Sinnet / NWCD by bank transfer, or pay through the built-in online banking system if you have a corporate account at one of the following banks:

  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • Agricultural Bank of China
  • Bank of China
  • China Construction Bank
  • China Merchants Bank
  • China Everbright Bank
  • SPD Bank
  • Postal Savings Bank of China

Payments can only be made in Chinese Yuan as all services are priced and billed in local currency (CNY) and processed by Sinnet and NWCD. 

Using AWS legally in China

Is it legal for me to use AWS China? It is important to note that successfully opening an AWS China gives your company the technical ability to host data in China, but does not in any way ensure legal compliance. It is therefore essential to seek legal advice to ensure that your Chinese company holds all of the legally required licenses, filings, and certificates to operate your platform in China, and that it operates in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. You are welcome to contact us to obtain a free compliance report confirming the licenses, filings and certificates that you will need.

Customer Support

Is customer support available in English?

Yes. Customer support for general inquiries is available in English via email, phone and online chat. For technical support (Amazon Web Services (China) Support Plan Required) or other specific support like compliance, you can reach out to the English-speaking team of experts by submitting your request form after logging into your management console.

How can I reach the customer support team?

In our experience this contact method provides the most detailed and clear information but usually takes more than 2 days to receive a reply.

  • Call the hotlines below from 9 am to 8 pm (GMT+8) except on public holidays.

+86 10 1010 0966 for Ningxia Region, operated by NWCD

+86 10 1010 0766 for Beijing Region, operated by Sinnet

If you don’t speak Chinese, we recommend that you call the Ningxia Region hotline for general inquiries that don’t involve issues with your account or billing, due to their higher level of English proficiency. Please note that operators may not be available during lunch hours.

  • Start an online chat session by clicking the chat button on the side bar from 9 am to 8 pm (GMT+8) except on public holidays.

This is the best method to use if you need a fast response. You can initiate a chat session after providing your contact information. The operator will get back to each one of your messages in 1 to 3 minutes.

  • Submit your support request through your AWS China management console.

We recommend that you submit your case in your console if it’s a technical problem.

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