What do Chinese Clients Mean by “H5”? It’s Not HTML 5 Actually…

ChiaYen Chiu
Oct 27, 2018 · 3 min read
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As a newbie in Mainland China, first thing I have to struggle a lot to adapt is the internet circumstance, which is so exclusive from the rest of the world. Here, people don’t use Google, Facebook and WhatsApp, Baidu, Weibo, WeChat dominate China market instead. I can discover something new every day upon arriving here. So let’s have a deeper look at China internet world, SaaS products and service.

First time I heard about “H5” was mentioned by clients at a project kick-off meeting. They said they will need us to design a H5 page for their website. Hold on, what is “H5” page? Does it mean HTML 5? Or a tag for font size H5? After doing some research, I realize “H5” is a term that stands for the mobile version of websites opened in mobile browsers. Basically, a H5 page is just a mobile website, mostly a promotion or event site, shared with people in WeChat by official accounts or WeChat Moments, and people can browse through the website with an in-app web browser. That’s so-called H5. Doesn’t it simply sound like a mobile website?

Curiously, I really would like to know why this kind of mobile event sites become a buzzword “H5” used by people here in China. I go on “Zhihu”(the Quora of China) and ask programmer friends to figure out a possible reason. It’s said that “H5” originates from the time when HTML 5 is released and standardized, programmers firstly code it to event and marketing mobile web pages. Marketing or sales people see these modern pages and learn they are built with the newest specification HTML 5. Since, people demonstrate these mobile web pages to clients and mistaken or shorten the technical term “HTML 5" to “H5”. Gradually people get used to using it to refer to event or marketing mobile web pages shared in WeChat among friends.

Now in China many companies and brands take this buzzword “H5” as a marketing tool through WeChat or QQ(second-biggest messenger in China), so we can see “H5” building class( I think it’s just like front-end language class), “H5” marketing class and ect. Moreover, there are plenty of H5 template websites that you can easily create pages, design layouts, and make animation effects without any hassle such as MAKA, renrenxiou, yixiouwang. PS. they are all in Chinese…Have a try if interested.

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MAKA editing panel

I share my findings about SaaS products, UX design, marketing and interesting things here in China. Feel free to leave a comment to discuss with me further. If you like this article, give me a clap, thank you! :)

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