AWS China Regions and Availability Zones

AWS is a popular cloud provider that is trying every time to expand its services and to do that, it needed to open its business in China. China is one of the most important countries in the global development layout, that’s why AWS is committed to providing Chinese software developers and enterprises with secure, flexible, reliable, and low-cost IT infrastructure resources. China is an important market for global companies. Both enterprises and startups conducting or expanding business in China would like to know how they can improve their productivity with AWS services. To do that, they had to deploy regions and availability zones in China.

What to know about AWS China Regions

You should probably know that there are multiple AWS regions and they are also some in China, but nothing more. If you try to be more curious about the China regions and look into your AWS console, you will not see the list of the China regions:

To use AWS services in China Regions, you need an account and credentials specific to the AWS services in mainland China. You can’t simply open an account in AWS China but you need a legal entity registered in China or must reside in China yourself. And if you want to externally open ports other than 22 (SSH) and 3389 (RDP), you need to have an **Internet Content Provider (ICP) license**, commercial or non-commercial, depending on the services you want to provide. The accounts created for other AWS global regions cannot be used for accessing AWS services in mainland China. Similarly, AWS services for Chinese accounts cannot work in AWS other regions. In AWS China, endpoints are using URL suffix []( meaning that there is a different AWS Console for China regions.

AWS China Regions

AWS China consisted first of 2 AWS regions operated by third parties: in Beijing in 2016, operated by Sinnet, and in Ningxia in 2017, operated by NWCD. To provide the best experience for customers in mainland China and to comply with China’s legal and regulatory requirements, AWS needed to collaborate with local partners in China who have proper telecom licenses for delivering cloud services within the Beijing and Ningxia Regions. As AWS couldn’t do it on its own, that’s why the third parties were needed. In 2019, AWS launched the new AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) region. Per Chinese laws and regulations, your identity must be verified before you may access AWS China Regions. Companies that want to register for an AWS China account need to provide a valid Chinese business license issued by the Bureau of Industry and Commerce of People’s Republic of China (PRC) or a valid license/permit issued by a qualified Chinese governmental organization.

Customers who wish to use the China Regions are required to sign up for a separate set of account credentials unique to China services. Customers with existing AWS credentials will not be able to access resources in the China Regions, and vice versa. AWS services in AWS China Regions use a dedicated region-specific management console. Also, accounts in AWS China are completely separated from accounts in AWS global, with no link,  so there is no VPC peering between AWS China and AWS global regions, and no S3 replication that you could launch between S3 in China and AWS global. You can’t also use a user in IAM global to log in to the AWS China region. AWS offers [AWS Organizations]( in the China regions to help you centrally govern your environment as you grow and scale your workloads on AWS.

AWS Availability Zones

There are three Availability Zones in the Beijing Region and three in the Ningxia Region. AWS is adding additional services to the regions constantly. You already have some services like Amazon EC2 T3, C5, R5, M5, and P3 Instances; Amazon Key Management System, Amazon Aurora; Amazon Aurora ServerlessS3 Glacier Deep Archive; Amazon ECS; Amazon Polly; Amazon GameLift; AWS IoT Core, AWS IoT Greengrass, AWS IoT Device Management. AWS Snowball; AWS Server Migrations Service; AWS Database Migrations Service; AWS Step Functions; AWS CodeBuild; AWS CodeDeploy; AWS Elemental MediaConvert; etc. Developers can easily and efficiently deploy cloud-based applications inside of China with the same APIs, protocols, and de-facto operating standards used by Amazon Web Services customers around the world.

You can see the full list of all the products services available in China Regions:

With this, both AWS Regions in China offer three AZs and allow customers to build applications that are scalable, fault-tolerant, and highly available. That’s important as many enterprise customers in China are using the China (Beijing) Region to support their digital transformations


To better serve the company in China regions, AWS China also has its own support that is a separate ticketing system and separate personnel. Sometimes AWS China documentation is completely different from the global versions.

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