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Does HubSpot Work in China? Yes & No.

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While using HubSpot in China is possible, the question of whether HubSpot is suitable for your business in China varies on a case-by-case basis. According to our CEO, Gareth Jones, this is dependent on factors such as your type of business, what features you want out of HubSpot, and whether you’re willing to make a few compromises to ensure optimal usability of the software. 

During our HubSpot User Group event “Insider Tips: Using HubSpot in China” on May 26, we explored the nuances of setting up a HubSpot portal for your operations in China. Below are some key takeaways from the event.

Should You Even Use HubSpot in China?

Even if you can use HubSpot in China, it might not necessarily be the best fit for your specific business’s needs and operations. Generally, the businesses that perform best with HubSpot in China are:

  • Multinational corporations with offices/presence in China that already use HubSpot across their global teams and operations.
    If you already have HubSpot as part of your global tech stack, it makes sense to expand its adoption in your organisation.
  • Chinese brands selling products overseas and looking to market internationally and have sales teams handling B2B enquiries from different countries.
    HubSpot has proven success in growing businesses globally. It is a solid CRM for managing your leads and enquiries, and can be accessed from China to oversee your team’s activities.

Advantages of Using HubSpot in China 

HubSpot remains the world’s leading CRM system and offers an unparalleled suite of intuitive and intelligent features that helps businesses in China and around the world grow exponentially.

Limitations of Using HubSpot in China

Despite its benefits, certain tools within HubSpot do not work as smoothly within China. This is because of its closed technology ecosystem. Here are a few areas where HubSpot might struggle: 

  • It is not possible to publish to Chinese social media platforms natively on HubSpot
  • Email marketing features of HubSpot aren’t as valuable in China due to its low rate of adoption
  • HubSpot does not load as quickly in China. You may need to purchase a VPN to optimise HubSpot performance.

Gareth explains these points in greater detail, as well as potential workarounds to these issues, in the presentation. 

 

Banner of Webinar - Insider Tips: Using HubSpot in China

 

HubSpot in China FAQs 

Do I Need a VPN to Use HubSpot in China? 

Using a VPN (virtual private network) for HubSpot in China is not a requirement, it comes highly recommended to protect your information as with any SaaS (software as a service)  that is hosted outside of China.

Slide from HUGs Webinar

Can I Integrate HubSpot With WeChat? 

A lot of businesses take advantage of the various integrations HubSpot Marketplace offers, such as integrating HubSpot with WhatsApp business. However, in China, it comes as no surprise that most businesses using HubSpot want to integrate WeChat into their system. This is possible but comes with a few caveats. 

Firstly, integrating HubSpot with WeChat is only possible through using a third party such as Parllay. In addition, while Parllay allows the integration, internal HubSpot updates like contact updates or logging conversations are limited, and would have to be done manually. 

Do I Need a Website in China?

China’s internet and technology ecosystem operates differently from the rest of the world. Therefore, you should consider your main options for hosting a digital presence in China.

A Traditional Website

If you decide to go the traditional website route, bear in mind that you’ll struggle to rank organically as foreign-hosted websites receive low priority in terms of SEO ranking. Therefore, a website will need to be backed by paid search advertising in order to rank.

A Microsite

A China Microsite will allow you to own your domain while giving you the ability to embed HubSpot forms and tracking codes into the site. However, like any website, this can be costly and time-intensive. 

A Baidu Landing Page

The main draw of Baidu LP is its ability to be set up quickly, thanks to its landing page builder, lower associated costs and A/B testing features. However, bear in mind that a Baidu LP won’t allow HubSpot form embedded and tracking code integrations. You also won’t receive a URL and won’t be able to index pages organically. 

HubSpot in China: The Bottom Line

Ultimately, using HubSpot in China is not as straightforward and simple as it may be elsewhere. However, that shouldn’t negate the premier award-winning support offered by HubSpot as well as the high levels of ROI and growth many businesses experience from adopting the software. Whether HubSpot is the right CRM system for you ultimately depends on your business type, business goals, and willingness to be flexible in order to facilitate using HubSpot in China.


Still deciding? Contact one of our China-specific consultants or explore this topic further in-depth.

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Noma Mathembisa

About the Author

Marketing Executive

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