Most Popular Cloud Storage Services in China
In 1996, China enacted internet censorship.
Now known as the Great Firewall of China (GFW), preventing foreign companies such as Google and Dropbox reaching the country’s approximately 840 million internet users.
Dropbox was officially being blocked in China at 2014.
Foreign companies that try to expand their businesses in China are often challenged by local regulatory requirements and the Great Firewall.
Therefore, these services offered by these companies are often not available in China.
With that being said, China is rapidly evolving and adapting to the newest technologies but still, keeps its “traditions” to maintain its internet laws.
So, if you’re in China and looking to find the right cloud storage provider, it is still possible despite the limitations and challenges.
All you have to do is go along with whatever it is offered in the Chinese digital space rules.
Luckily for you, we have listed and summarily introduce cloud storage for China that works pretty well.
There’s no alternative to Dropbox or Google Drive in China, but these cloud storage services can be accessed without a VPN.
With the uncertain ahead of China VPN ban, it’s better to play safe here.
As the writing of this post, China population is at around 1.43 billion (early 2020). Check out their population meter by worldometers.
China’s Cloud Computing Market
By 2023, China’s cloud industry will be the world largest by far, projected to exceed 300 billion Yuan, according to a research firm IDC.
In other words, an estimated 60% of local companies and government agencies will adopt cloud computing services.
60% seems like a small growth, but it is a massive prospect for China’s future development and technology adoption as most of these businesses will rely on them in the future.
China’s Internet Plus strategy was introduced by the government in 2015 to promote the integration of big data, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing to modernize the country’s industries.
Moreover, Alibaba is the pioneer enterprise to tap into cloud computing since 2009.
Now known as one of China’s tech giants, Alibaba has continuously pouring unlimited resources into building its cloud computing services.
Alibaba may have 4% of the global cloud market, but it attains over 40% of China’s cloud computing market.
With that being said, companies like Baidu and Tencent are also working speedily to expand their cloud computing services.But here’s the question: Can China’s cloud computing market catch up with the world?
Compare to other countries such as the U.S., where cloud computing services are well-developed, China’s cloud industry lags as far as 66% compared to the U.S.’s GDP, which suggests that China’s cloud computing market is lacking behind comparing to China economic growth.
Although China’s cloud computing market is still hugely dominated by Alibaba Cloud, foreign players cannot challenge them in the local’s cloud market.
Privacy Data in China
China’s private data protection law will be issued and implemented very soon by CAC, Cyberspace Administration of China. Due to the fast development of technologies, and the swift demand by the people.
This also allows the government to monitor its citizens in a vast civilian surveillance network, including looking into your data that are stored in local cloud storage services.
How you perceive this is entirely up to you because there are pros and cons to this notion.
Nonetheless, here’s the list of popular cloud storage services available in China from our deep researched.
|1. Baidu Wangpan||5. pCloud|
|2. Weiyun||6. Sync.com|
|3. Nutstore||7. Icedrive|
|4. 115.com||8. Tresorit|
Yup, Baidu — China’s biggest and most popular search engine website that also hosts a cloud storage platform.
Its service is currently available in Mandarin only at the moment at https://pan.baidu.com/.
In light of this, I couldn’t test it out. However, from what I’ve gathered from reviews, it’s pretty easy to set up your account.
All you have to do is:
- download the mobile app
- “claim” the free space of 2TB
How do you claim the free space of 2TB?
It’s easy. All you have to do is:
- Signup and create a Baidu account
- Once you received a verification email upon completing the registration, download and install the Baidu Yun mobile app
- Log in to the Baidu mobile app
- Go to the next URL to confirm that you have claimed the additional 2 TB (2048 GB) of cloud storage: http://yun.baidu.com/1t. If it’s not there, you can click on the red “Claim 2048G” button.
It’s that simple.
Baidu also offers other services such as:
- Computing and networking
- Security Services
- Big Data Analytics / Machine Learning
- IoT Service
- Application Services
- Domain Management
Baidu thrives in China because Google Drive and Dropbox are blocked.
From what I gathered on these users’ reviews, Baidu offers not-very-surprising features that are similar to what Google Drive and Dropbox offer in theirs.
Besides their offer of 2TB free cloud storage space for life, there’s not much that illustrates Baidu as a swell-one-of-a-kind service.
To view more of Baidu features and its plans, visit their site: https://pan.baidu.com/buy/center#/svip.
Weiyun is another popular cloud storage service of Tencent.
The same tech giant that created WeChat, Weibo, QQ instant messenger, Tencent Games, TenPay (similar to PayPal), and more.
At first, Weiyun was designed only to offer features such as storing photos, audios, and videos.
Later on, it was extended to store documents and other files. It can also be used to edit, view, share, and download the files through a desktop or laptop and all mobile devices.
One of the features that make Weiyun slightly different from Baidu Wangpan is that when you want to share a specific file or folder, you can generate a unique QR code.
To do that, you will need a QQ account to use it.
Another great point about Weiyun is that the website is available in English.
So, I decided to test it out myself. The registration was simple as you need to sign up with a QQ account or WeChat account.
As I was examining out the platform service, Weiyun only offers two plans: Free Plan and Super Member. Sounds great, right?
Well, the free plan offers 10GB, but it offers minimal features.
The only point you can do is upload files and store up to 10GB.
With the Super Member plan, you will get 6TB of storage and other features displayed on the website for ¥30 per month, which is equivalent to $4.
$1 ≈ 7CNY
So, if you want to save cash with an extraordinary amount of cloud storage, Weiyun is for you.
Nutstore, or in another name, ‘jianguoyun’, is another Chinese local cloud storage service that’s available in the English language.
According to many reviews, its user experience is very similar to Dropbox. You can read our Dropbox review here.
As reported by other users’ reviews, Nutstore’s features are reliable and accessibly easy. Nutstore also allows you to send files to anyone for viewing and editing.
Nutstore provides convenient features such as file backup, sharing, and synchronization.
Any files you save will be automatically synchronized to your mobile devices and laptops. Nutstore will sync any local folders to the cloud. There is no limit to the amount of folder being synched in the cloud.
Nutstore can be used on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS which are an advantage to other local Chinese cloud storage services.
Compare to other local cloud storage services, surprisingly, Nutstore offers 3 different plans: Free, Professional, and Advanced in their Individual Plan.
With the Free Plan, you received 1GB per month for upload, 3GB per month for download and unlimited traffic under normal usage.
Pricing Plan for Individual
On the other hand, the Professional Plan presents storage up to 42GB and a “gift space of 1G per month”. The Professional Plan offers 3 different payment plans, which are you can either pay 30 Yuan per month, 119.90 Yuan per 6 months (19.98 Yuan per month), or 199.90 Yuan per year (16.66 Yuan per month).
With the Advanced Plan, it offers 96GB and a “gift space of 2G per month” for the price of 60.00 Yuan per month, 239.90 Yuan per 6 months (39.98 Yuan per month), or 399.90 per year (33.33 Yuan per month).
The only difference between Professional and Advanced Plans is the storage space. Still, the Free Plan only offers limited features, which are full-speed data transmission, account security measures, cross-platform multi-device support, and automatic photo backup. The other features are fully available for the Paid Plans.
Gift space as stated in the Professional and Advance plan is refering to additional storage of xGB/month if you paid advance in one year. So if you pay one year for the Professional Pan, you get basic 30GB + 1GB*12month. In the end of the year, you’ll receive 42GB. But the basic 30GB will expire if you did not continue to subscribe, whereas the 12GB free storage can be kept for free.
Pricing Plan for Business
Nutstore also offers business and an enterprise plan. Under their business plan, it presents another 3 plans: Standard, Advanced, and Ultimate.
The Standard plan is for start-up or SME businesses with a minimum of 5 members. Each member gets 50GB of storage, which can be adjusted.
The collaboration limit is unlimited, and the file revision is at least 6 months. All of those features cost 30 Yuan per member per month.
The Advanced plan is for businesses that are looking for more security features.
It offers a more integrated security control strategy and auditing features.
Similarly to the Standard plan, the minimum is 5 members, and each member gets 100GB of storage, which is also adjustable.
The collaboration limit is unlimited, and the file revision is at least 12 months, more than the Standard Plan. The advanced plan costs 50 Yuan per member per month.
The Ultimate plan offers more features of customization and integration with enterprise IT systems, logos, and subdomains.
Again, the minimum is 5 members, but each member receives 200GB of storage, which is also adjustable. The collaboration limit is unlimited, and the file revision is at least 12 months, similar to the Advanced plan. It cost 99 Yuan per member per month.
If you’re an enterprise in China and are looking for customized cloud storage, then the Nutstore’s enterprise plan is perfect.
You can either email, contact, or message them through QQ for a free consultation and acquire a free trial.
115.com is another cloud storage provider that used to be one of the leading cloud giants before it shut down in August 2012.
Since then, 115.com is back again and running —offering new users of 15GB free storage after signing up that increases by 1TB every year without limit or so they say.
Upon hearing that, I was excited to test this platform out.
Unfortunately, this website was in Chinese, and even as I tried my best to utilize Google’s automatic translation on the site, it was a bit difficult to navigate and test the platform altogether.
So, for those who don’t know how to read the Chinese language, it’s best to steer away from 115.com.
Overall, from the reviews and information that I gathered about 115.com, its features are straightforward.
It’s easy to use and not complicated at all.
Other notable China cloud storage services:
Foreign cloud storage services that can be accessed in China
If you live in China and upload your data to the cloud, it’s there for the government to view your files as well.
Unlike Europe, where strict privacy laws help keep your data away from prying eyes. China doesn’t have those laws.
Taking this into account, here are some notable foreign cloud storage services that can be accessed in China.
One of the world’s highly recommended cloud storage services for its security features, pCloud, can be accessed in China.
It works well. To double-check if it works, we used a VPN tool to test if the website is blocked in China, and it’s not!
To keep it short, if you want to know more about pCloud, read our review.
Another favorite by GCS and many others, Sync.com, can also be accessed in China.
It is fast, easy to use, and it presents incredible sharing options. More important, their security features are unparalleled with no additional cost.
To ensure that it is available in China, we did a quick check, and it is.
To know more about why Sync.com is just one of our favorites, read our Sync.com review.
Icedrive, the next generation of cloud storage, is the new player in this market.
Equally good as pCloud and Sync.com, IceDrive provides strong security, fast speeds, ordinary sharing features, and average customer support.
Icedrive is not blocked in China too.
If you want to know more about IceDrive, read our take on this excellent cloud storage service.
Tresorit is not only secured, but it’s also a powerful and fast cloud storage service that ranks among the best in the market.
The biggest downside is the hefty price, but hey, that’s what you get for an excellent secured service.
See what it takes you in our full review on Tresorit.
Lowest Tier Paying Plan Available
|Local||Storage||Price (in RMB)|
|Foreign||Storage||Price (in RMB)|
*With the assumption of $1 ≈ 7CNY
One point I have noticed is the outstanding amount of free storage service offered by these Chinese cloud storage providers.
It sounds impressive that these providers offer a massive amount of free storage.
I mean, who wouldn’t want an abundance of free cloud storage?
But what you don’t know is that there are so many factors to consider before moving to one of these Chinese cloud storage services.
First, we don’t how reliable their security and infrastructure.
It may be advertised as the best on their site as what they have implemented, but I noticed that there are not a lot of reviews about their features and performances; it gives a feeling of all bark and no bite about these services.
Few users have voiced out about their concerns regarding the security and performance of local cloud storage services.
They have also experienced a significant delay when uploading data or files into the platforms.
Upload time is crucial and it should be a deciding factor for decent cloud storage. Our fastest cloud storage experiment sheds some light on these.
Furthermore, it is vital to keep in mind that the regulations and laws in China are very strict when it comes to data content stored on these platforms.
Some files may be considered unacceptable and, more likely, that these service providers will monitor the files carefully, under the government’s orders.
Some of these providers in China have been warned by the government to keep an eye on the content that is stored in cloud storage.
For many users, this can be a significant downside as this could mean restrictions on what they keep on their cloud storage leading to no privacy at all.
It is also essential to heed that these security warnings can affect cloud storage users in China.
But as you probably know by now, things are way more complicated in China.
At the end of the day, despite a large amount of free storage space — which is tempting — it shouldn’t be the only reason you consider when it comes to choosing a local cloud storage service in China.
There are other cloud storage services, as well.
But make sure you avoid these worst cloud storage.