This article is about Live Streaming in China and Chinafy's Live stream service. Namely, we will cover -
1. Why most Live Stream tools (like Vimeo!) don't work as is in China
2. What a standard Chinafy Live stream process looks like
3. How does Chinafy live differ to other 'solutions' out there
4. What are the requirements to use Chinafy Live
5. What does the Chinafy Live process involve?
Chinafy Live is Chinafy's add-on Live Stream service designed to help corporates optimise video streams for their B2B virtual events, conferences, webinars and more.
But first, some context into why we’ve built this solution in the first place.
Much like a number of foreign platforms and tools - the most popular Live Stream platforms simply don’t work the same in China, as they do elsewhere.
It then matters less whether the content that you’re streaming as a business is sensitive or blocked, but rather, how it’s being delivered. In fact, the majority of foreign websites don’t work in China not because they’re blocked but because they’re not designed to perform well in China’s very specific internet ecosystem.
Don’t get us wrong, there are a number of websites that are blocked for various reasons that we also don’t work with - but the majority of them aren’t. This is the same case for business videos or streams.
No. At least, not as is or off-the-shelf.
Those platforms are incredibly powerful tools (that we love too!), but they’re tools that are blocked on a platform level in China. As a result, in order to deliver streams to China you will require a different video player and streaming process irrespective of the nature of your event.
Let’s get this straight off the bat -
Chinafy does not explicitly make the Vimeo platform work in China just as it does not enable blocked technologies.
We also don't "lend" our own onshore licenses, as some companies do, to clients that use our service. Our service remains entirely offshore and outside the border of China.
What we do instead is leverage our one-of-a-kind intelligent Web Resource Compatibility suite that we use to optimise websites for China performance to -
i) detect blocked live stream sources
ii) process it through our system
iii) deliver a non-branded stream via the HLS file format directly from your website that loads fast and fully for China visitors.
In essence, we make what otherwise would be a heavy manual and technical process into one that is hands-off for you.
The hope is that then leaves you to simply focus on running a great event. Read on for more specifics in the case studies section below.
More importantly however, we don’t just optimise the streams for delivery to China visitors but also the website(s) that they sit on.
Think about it this way. Say, you’re hosting a webinar for your colleagues globally (including China). It’s likely that they’ll have to -
Register on a website to RSVP to the event and obtain access to where the live stream will be held. They’ll then need to
Tune-in when the event is happening live or access VOD, if that’s an option.
To access the content you have planned for them, there are multiple digital touch points outside of the Live Stream video itself - but nonetheless critical to their experience of the ‘event’.
As we’ve shared above, most websites don’t work in China - not because they’re blocked but perform incredibly poorly across both speed & functionality.
Resolving this is not as simple as ‘bolting-on’ a CDN because issues that cause poor performance in China are rooted on the code and not just infrastructure level. More on Chinafy vs. CDN here.
Chinafy doesn’t just help you handle the live streams itself, but is uniquely able to optimise the live stream’s context of the website itself.
You might then be wondering -
No. Just as Chinafy leverages its one-of-a-kind intelligent Web Resource Compatibility suite to detect, replace, and deliver resources, Chinafy’s other default Go Live process comes into play.
Chinafy purely delivers the Chinafy version of your site and stream to China users only. That is, unless you request otherwise.
Using Geo-IP Based redirection at the DNS or CDN level, visitors that come from China will be directed to the Chinafy version of the site and all other visitors will get sent back to the original version of your site and stream.
This means that your users - depending on where they’re coming from - will access the tech stack that is best suited for their experience.
Just 2 things.
i) A platform, like Vimeo premium, that enables you to have a custom RTMP feed
ii) a Chinafy Live plan.
Not much! We’ll break this down into whether you have plans to deliver an event site and stream, or just a stream itself.
Let’s assume that you’ve already subscribed to the Chinafy Pro+ Plan, and want to consider using the Chinafy Live Stream Add-On feature. We’ll assume you already have, or are live-streaming via your website using a branded service, like Vimeo (or other).
The next steps are to -
Qualify the event: Every site is different, and so is every live stream event. Chinafy first asks you to answer the following questions so that we can prepare a plan for your event accordingly. See the full list of questions here. Note that Chinafy reserves the right to evaluate events on a case-by-case basis ahead of any engagements.
Set-Up the website and/or stream: The Chinafy engineering will then configure your site and live stream settings based on the qualifying answers from step #1.
24 hours before the event: The Chinafy team will provide & confirm a i) RTMP server destination and ii) Unique Stream Key. You will then send the stream via an encoder or forward via Vimeo.
Expert Support: While a great deal of the Chinafy Live process is automated, we believe in including a human element in planning events so that we both have the context to best support you.
Flexible plans to for during and or after the event (e.g. VOD).
Turnarounds for these engagements are anywhere between 24 hours (with accelerated set-up) to 1.5 weeks (standard).
Qualify the event: The Chinafy team will similarly gather a bit more information about your event.
Process payment for # of streams
Generate Chinafy stream
Turnarounds for these engagements are generally 48-72 hours.
Chinafy users - like Transitions Optical, Wounds International, and American Diabetes Association - know first hand that Live Streaming for China with our Vimeo set-up is the easiest option out there.
Get yourself in front of China visitors fast and fully. Click here to get in touch with Chinafy.