Device Sync in mainland China

We are looking to write a mobile app that will be available within mainland China and running on servers in that country. Anyone know if there a provider/partner that offers Atlas Device Sync there now or in the near future?



Hello @Alvin_Chan

You would need to speak to Alibaba, and you would also need to consult 中华人民共和国工业和信息化部 China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for any app compliance standards you need to meet to launch and deploy the App across mainland China. Because the Great Firewall of China has serious restrictions your app is going to have to meet.

They would be the go-to for anything app deployment related, but as far as hosted services go Alibaba does host and service MongoDB, you can also run Apollo GraphQL servers within Mainland China or on Alibaba virtual infrastructure, and then route the appropriate GraphQL clients on the mobile apps.

MongoDB may launch Realm/Device Sync on Alibaba, but that’d yet to be determined. You can also establish HTTP and JSON based APIs and run them to the Alibaba hosted MongoDB instances as well. There’s a myriad of ways to ensure data gets from mobile to the cloud that way.

But again, prior to you launching your app, I’d highly encourage that you communicate with 中华人民共和国工业和信息化部 and get a solid, approved-in writing guide out, be sure to explain you’re looking to comply with Chinese law, what the app is, what it does, why you’re making it, and why you want to deploy it across mainland China and the consumers there, as well as what private information of Chinese citizens will be recorded, and what will happen to that data.

The PRC (People’s Republic of China) takes foreign software to serious extremes in what they view as security or safety risks to protect PRC citizens from what they may perceive as a threat to the public. You need to be sure to navigate those waters prior to committing to any services, however if you do need help navigating how to get in contact with 中华人民共和国工业和信息化部, you’re welcome to DM me your business contact e-mail and I can walk you through the steps and processes. I’ve worked on, launched, and deployed 11 mobile apps that operate within China, Vietnam, Siam (Thailand, just some still know it as Siam), and Myanmar. All of which are still operating today.

Again, you need to focus more on being highly respectful to any requests or wishes by the PRC Government, and make it clear that’s why you’re reaching out to them, and why you want to launch your app and they will be more than happy to help, but they will have requirements of things that will have to be implemented within the applications versions that will be operational and available to the Chinese public.



MongoDB does support the above, but am unsure if you would pay for support directly with Alibaba, or if it’s direct with MongoDB.

There is the OpenAPI by Alibaba that can link your mobile app to the MongoDB hosted in Alibaba.

You would need to select the correct SDK for you, etc.

It’s known when or if Alibaba will also host Realm/Device Sync, but I’m sure they may cook something up in time.

Thank you Brock for the detailed guidance! Much appreciated! We are hoping to launch over the next couple months to regions outside China first. If successful, then into China. Navigating all these obstacles is a real challenge but thanks to people like you in the community, it encourages us to keep going.



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Vietnam and Myanmar are the same boats, both countries you want to check with their equivalents to the FCC about your app(s).

Myanmar was an extremely interesting process compared to China, unknown if you’re trying to deploy there but anything that’s “new” or could be considered controversial run it through their government first as well. Or things can get extremely ugly and overly problematic, as they also will go through local governments. It took almost a year to clear things up and get rid of labels a client company I worked for was an espionage platform to overthrow the Junta. That labeling for my client had intense ramifications in dealing with other governments in the region to allow the apps deployments.

India is also an interesting process, just to be aware of.

South Korea was probably the best experience to handle if your company is US Based, or if it’s based in Singapore. Japan probably had the strictest user data compliances Ive ever seen from any nation in that region, even down to when data had to be destroyed related to a consumer if that consumer hasn’t accessed the app in so long.

That said though, in the Far East Asia landscape AWS is everywhere, it’s also in Beijing, but I haven’t seen Realm offered out off Beijing. That said, Alibaba has dozens of datacenter within China, compared to I think one ore two AWS data centers.