HiChina was once known as “the GoDaddy” of China and is one of it’s first and largest ICANN certified domain registrars and hosting providers. It has since been bought by Alibaba cloud in 2009 and almost completely assimilated into its parent company. As such, most of its functions like hosting and support are now provided via Alibaba Cloud. While the lines between them have become blurred, HiChina has always been a reputable hosting provider that served as the gateway to China for many foreign businesses.
Features and Ease of Use
Through parent company Alibaba, HiChina is not only one of China’s biggest ICANN registered domain registrars, but also hosting providers:
- Discounted domain registration
- Alibaba Cloud DNS management
- Alibaba Cloud CDN with 1,500 nodes globally
- Multisite, multi-tier web and WordPress hosting
- Enterprise-grade email hosting solutions
- Cloud backup and recovery
- Scalable and configurable cloud storage with SSD options
It would take up less time listing what hosting and cloud infrastructure solutions Alibaba doesn’t offer. They don’t quite have the same exhaustive catalog as their U.S.-based competitor AWS, but it’s an impressive platform that’s almost just as flexible and scalable.
They’ve also invested greatly in their infrastructure with data centers in over 19 global locations, 56 global availability zones, and 1,500 network nodes in over 70 countries across 6 continents. That should give your online presence a global reach. They’ve invested a lot in the U.S. with over 200 nodes and two data centers there.
Resources are usually generously distributed. Even students can get 1 CPU core, 2 GB memory, 40 GB of storage, and 1,000 GB of traffic for a fraction of the price of what similar cloud-based application hosting would cost.
Pricing and Support
As a direct competitor to AWS from within China, Alibaba follows many of the same billing practices. You can choose to either pay a set amount each month for one of their preconfigured packages or pay-as-you-go where you will be billed at hourly intervals. However, you will be paying discounted rates if you pay for a subscription on a prepay basis.
They also have a unique free trial option where you can use almost any of their products for free for the time that it would cost you up to $300. That means the length of the trial depends on which product you pick (as well as what configuration). It could be anywhere from a month to 6 months to a year.
A thoughtful gesture from them is their “Cloud Wing” project that offers heavily discounted (over 90%) hosting to “students”. Actually, anyone under the age of 25 automatically qualifies. This applies to their application servers and elastic cloud servers.
Other than that, you can find almost any type of hosting solution at any scale and at almost any price. Surprisingly, many of AWS’ products work out cheaper, but Alibaba is still incredibly competitive.
No matter where in the world you are, you can also feel safe entrusting them with your money as they accept a wide range of popular international payment methods, billing support for over 169 countries, and billing in USD.
HiChina’s support has also been completely been taken over by Alibaba. They offer support packages with the Basic package providing email support as well as response times of under 36 hours within business hours. Enterprise support unlocks ticket, instant messaging, and phone support at all hours and with guaranteed response times of under 15 minutes for critical issues at 24/7 availability. There is also a massive help center with documentation, FAQ’s, and a community forum.