Mapbox meets massive growth in China by optimizing their API delivery with Cloudflare’s China Network.


Mapbox is the leading real-time location and mapping platform for developers. Mapbox’s goal is to provide high-performing location services, letting enterprises analyze their data, real estate sites visualize properties, and insurance companies track assets.

Mapbox’s Challenge: High Performance in China

When Mapbox first expanded into China, the company’s global infrastructure did not extend to servers in China. The complexities and intricacies of China’s Internet make local infrastructure a requirement for fast mapping services. Will White, VP of Engineering at Mapbox, explained “Before we stood up our infrastructure in China, our APIs were not optimized for users in China or for Chinese users traveling abroad with their cell phones. We launched in the AWS Beijing region to improve our mapping services but still didn’t have the user experience we wanted.” With 100x year-over-year growth in the region, it was obvious that Mapbox needed a solution to both fully support the Chinese apps using their platform and their global clients that were expanding into China.

Mapbox’s Solution: A Global CDN with Strong Presence in China

After researching the major players in the China CDN market, Mapbox chose Cloudflare’s China network. “We chose Cloudflare” said White, “because of its full feature set, presence both in and outside of China, good pre-sales support, and global support offering.” Mapbox now uses Cloudflare’s China Network to accelerate the delivery of their API to mobile devices inside and outside of China. White remarked, “Our API is 8x faster in China than it was before. Cloudflare's extensive global edge network makes our API fast, which in turn makes our users happy. Plus, managing our China and global deployment from a single configuration tool is a huge bonus.”

Cloudflare's China Network improves Mapbox’s API delivery performance by serving API requests from 17 locations around China. By putting content closer to end users, Cloudflare is able to help customers mitigate the latency issues rampant across China. By peering with local ISP’s, Cloudflare’s customers enjoy reduced costs while enjoying expedited traffic performance.

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“Cloudflare is a feature-packed acceleration tool that helped Mapbox expand into emerging markets like China.”

Will White
VP of Platform at Mapbox