How to Setup Websites Outside China

This seems to be a silly question – “how to setup a website OUTSIDE China?” What to do with China when the website is outside China.

This is exactly the right answer. However, many (upt o 10) emails asked me about the procedure of setting up a website – in Chinese – outside China. The most recent inquiry comes from Santiago, Chile.

The major concern is the widely know (or infamous) Great Firewall, and the registration process in China. The short answer is, no. The registeration is only required for sites in China – nobody really explained what it means to be “in China”. Whether it is server in China or the owner in China? I don’t know and don’t have a law about it.

So if your site is out of China and you are out of China, don’t worry. Just go ahead to create your website according to the local regulations and laws.

However, there is a risk that your site is banned by the GFW, and people inside China cannot access the site. Please note: in this situation, people outside China can still access it, since the GFW is only placed on the major connection port between China and outside world. Your servers are outside the wall, and people in China are inside the wall.

What will tigger the ban? It is typically political or “sensitive” (according to a misterious standard). If you are commercial sites like B2B, or B2C, or informational about your product, don’t worry.

To future explain the situation, you still have the risk been banned if you host your website on the same server as other sites that the GFW don’t like. They ban sites based on IP address, and if you are not lucky, you are the victom. The solution is simple – change to another Internet provider, and you will be OK – as long as it is not your site that caused the ban.

That is the simple explaination of this urgly reality.

What is the Most Sticky Topic?

What is the most sticky topic on this site? Or to put the question the other way, what is the keyword that brings a visitor and the visitor stayed on this site for longest time?

Using the data from Google Analytics, I created a table here. Let me show you some of the top visiting keyword:

Congratulations to York!

This morning, York has his new baby!

The whole team is very happy about him, and I, in particular, understand how exciting and sweet it is.

Congratulations, York.

People call the newly born baby York 2.0, or some calls him


P.S. I had wonderful night with the third delegation Jan and I hosted: the U.S China Working Group of U.S. Congress Delegation – arranged by NCUCR… I also met Sean, founder of


Yesterday, I registered, as a gift for my newly born baby. The domain expired on June 30, 2007, and within seconds, it was registered by, and finally, I spent 79 USD to get it back. Then I noticed that did a good (well, only from business perspective) to have 10 million domain transaction per year. Pretty amazing.

The Name of Chinese People

After I wrote about Chinese Characters (which is an interesting topic), let me talk about the name of people in China. Just as the last article, I “intentionally” over-simplify it since 1) how can it be possible to tell the “complete” story with such a short answer 2) why people need to understand that details when they are first exposed to such topics.

What’s in the Name?

I chatted with Chris the other day about giving naming to my son – it was not an easy task. I asked: Do you have explicit meaning in English names? I assume there is no for most names, and the choice is just about pronunciation and because people who are named with this name. (Is this true?)

The Chinese name is different. There are only limited number of Chinese characters (you cannot create a new one, and it is always impossible to create a “typo” on computer since you cannot create one characters on computer), and there are just a small subsets that are often used (within 2000). That means, every single character has explicit meanings. It is either some physical objects (like mountain, rain, cloud, tree, gold), or some concept like happiness, good, wisdom…

Finding out the name is like write a very poem. Everything express some meaning so you need express something with the two or three characters.

So, ask what the meaning of their name when you meet a person from China, and you will be surprised by how deep the meaning of the names are.

Family Names

Unlike English names, people put family name in the first place, and the given name the second. It shows respect to the anscester.

There are not so many last names. The common saying is “100” last names in China, but actually, there is more than that. To recite all the 100 last names with the exact order is one of the must-do task for children in the past.

Common last names are:

Wang, Zhao, Zhang, Li, Yang, Sun, Zhou, Wu, Zheng…

The Middle Names

People in China actually don’t have middle names.

In tradition, all the names are three characters, with the first character as last name, and the rest two are the given name. However, in many families, the first character of the given name is a mark of the generation. (Let me name it as middle name, although people in China don’t call it so). Everyone in the same generation has exactly the same middle name.

For example, according to the Family History Booklet, my middle name should be Zhong 重. This has been determined hundreds of years ago already, so I know my son’s middle name, or my grandson, or his son, or grandson’s middle name.

The usage of this middle name is make sure when two person with the same last name meets, they can immediately tell what generation he is, and they know how they should address the other. It is not rare for a person of 70 to call a person of just 5 grandfather…

So, when the last name, and the middle name are determined, people typically only need to think of one name – the second character of the given name. The tradition is, you cannot use the same name as your ancestor, even names with similar pronunciation to show respect. There are thousands of characters, and there are only hundreds of pronunciation in China, so you can calculate how many characters with exactly the same pronunciation. So this further limit the options.

The Sense of Family History

When I read the history of my family, I realized I am the 20th generation of the family living in that small place. The first generation, according to the history, moved from Shanxi province to Henan Province in the year 1380. We know the name of this person, and how many children he has (and what is their names), and the all the way down to me – it is a very big family tree there. When I read about the person who record the relationship. They did the work in the 15th century, and once in the 18th century, and the latest work is in 1993. I was amazed by how long the history of my family is. I just discovered this when I am thinking about names for my son, who is the 21th generation of the family.

Current Situation

We finally turned out that we didn’t follow the naming standard recorded in the Booklet. However, I will tell Yifan what generation and what “middle name” he should have. In China, the recent two or three generations typically give up the old way of giving names, so people have two characters name or three, or even more. It is chaos. The long history of naming in China gradually got lost… It is a pity.

Backup of Deleted Templates

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China’s Social Resources

This morning, I took one morning leave to go to hospital to inject the immune for my son. He is one month old now – exactly one month. Due to Chinese tradition, people often celebrate the date with a ceremony similar to the wedding ceremony – after one month, the month, and the children (and the father, of cause) should already recovered from the initial “disorder” to the normal life. This seems to be good timing. We didn’t do it. We went to hospital this morning. The second round of immune injection started from today.

To my surprise, it took us almost the whole morning to wait in the long line of crying babies. We left around 11:00 AM after the injection, and was not patient enough to wait in the long line to get the Vitamin B the doctor prescribed. If I should have waited, I guess I needed 40 minutes.

This reminded me the talk I had with Jim the other day. He said: “Before you have a baby, or you get sick, you may not understand how limited the social resource in this country is”.

This is true. Before, if there is only Wendy and I, there are not too much we need. Just go to restaurants, and we went to movies – there are plenty of them both in Shanghai.

However, when we have a baby, we suddenly found there are just so few hospitals, so few doctors, and so long you have to wait. Later, I believe we will continuously find out the educational system, the other medical care, the sport facility for children — it is still very rare resources – far from enough.

I am also aware that I am in Shanghai – the city in China with relatively better social security, and insurance system. If I feel the lack of resources (indicated by long waiting time), it must be so in other places.

I have to admit, that I only see part of China (before and now, and in the future). I just found out this with the arrival of my son.

Contact Me

Thank you for spending time on my “little blog”. I hope you enjoy reading the articles.

If you want to contact me, just send me an email at

jianshuo at hotmail dot com

I check my email daily, and your email will be read (if it does not mistakenly put into the Junk Mail folder of my Hotmail).

The best way to contact me is via email, but if it is important or urgent, you can also reach me via:


My mobile phone is +86-13916146826 (you need to add your own country’s prefix to dial out of your country)

Don’t forget that I am in Shanghai, at time zone +0800. Please check the current Shanghai time before dialing.


Anybody still uses postal mail? If you do, here it is:

Room 1808, 55 Guangyuan West Road, Shanghai, China 200030

Social Networking

If you’d like to connect with me via a social networking site, you can do so at:


Comment on this Blog

Finally, don’t forget that to leave a comment on this blog is also a great way to contact me. I read comments daily.