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Information for Users in China

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Overview

Cisco Meraki is investing significant resources into launching a China service to better serve our customers who are located in or have devices deployed in mainland China. Meraki expects to deploy the China service in early 2018, supported exclusively by datacenters located within mainland China (“China Service”). It is strongly advised that customers with Meraki devices deployed within mainland China take steps to ensure that their devices are moved to the China Service.
 
Once the China Service has launched, customers will be able to select the China region when creating new Dashboard organizations. In order to comply with Chinese law and to accommodate for certain technical challenges, there will be some differences between the normal Dashboard and the China Dashboard experience.

Cross-border Service Availability

Prior to the launch of the China Service in early 2018, Meraki devices that are currently deployed in mainland China will communicate via cross-border connection with existing Meraki services. This communication is inherently a cross-border connection, as these Meraki devices in mainland China will be sending data to the Meraki services in North America, South America, Europe, and/or Asia depending upon the region that was selected at sign-up. 

  • These cross-border data connections are sometimes unstable for reasons that are beyond Meraki's control. As such, some devices located within mainland China, but that are connecting to the Meraki services in the North America, South America, Europe, or Asia region, may experience issues with connecting to the Meraki services and/or may lose connectivity to the Meraki services.  
  • Cross-border data connections are subject to Chinese law, which may change.

In order for users to mitigate any issues that may arise by utilizing a cross-border connection to the Meraki services, it is strongly advised that Meraki users take action to ensure that their Meraki devices in mainland China are placed onto Meraki's China Service / Dashboard.

Customer-established Cross-border Data Connections

  • Meraki is a provider of tools for users to create VPN tunnels.  Some uses of VPN are prohibited in China, so customers are advised to seek independent legal advice on the legality of VPN networks they intend to create or use. Any VPN that involves a cross-border connection is subject to the impact of China’s regulations and network traffic handling.
  • In addition, please note that Cisco Meraki may be unable able to successfully resolve issues and service interruption that arise due to China’s network condition, unexpected changes to Chinese law, and actions of Chinese regulators.

Creating Organizations in the China Service

Users who wish to create a new Dashboard organization in the China Service have the following options: 

  1. Sign up for an account using the following link. This will create an organization in Dashboard ("China Staging Dashboard") which will be moved to the China service in late 2018. 
  2. Wait for the China Service to be deployed in early 2018. Additional information regarding the timeline will follow. 

Migrating Existing Organizations, Networks, or Devices to the China Service

Users with Meraki devices that are already deploying in mainland China have the following options:

  1. Open a case with Meraki Support to have existing networks or organizations (for devices deployed in mainland China) moved to the China Staging Dashboard. This instance of Dashboard will be moved to the China service in late 2018. 
  2. Wait for the China Service to be deployed in early 2018. Once the China Service is available, create an organization in the China Service, then manually move all devices to this new organization. All configuration settings will need to be manually recreated. Meraki Support can assist with moving licenses between these organizations by opening a support case. 

Applying Advanced Security Licenses to Organizations in the China Service

In order to comply with Chinese cybersecurity law, Cisco Meraki prohibits the application of Advanced Security licenses to organizations that reside in the China Service. If you purchased an Advanced Security license for use within the China Service, please open a support case to have these licenses converted to Enterprise licenses.

Unsupported Features in China

The following features are not supported for devices that are configured in the China service: 

  • HTTP proxy for cloud communication
  • Configuration fetch using HTTP (devices must use HTTPS for configuration fetch)

Note that these services are subject to change. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why did Meraki stop selling the Advanced Security license in Mainland China?

In June 2017, the Chinese government instituted a cybersecurity law which introduced new regulations and requirements concerning network security protocols. The MX, if sold with an Advanced Security license, would likely be classified as a network security protocol. Therefore, Cisco Meraki has chosen to halt the sale of Advanced Security licenses. Cisco Meraki is investigating the requirements of the Chinese cybersecurity law and will consider introducing the Advanced Security license in the future. However, there is no timeline for when the Advanced Security license will be made available in China. 

What about the Advanced Security licenses already sold to Mainland China?

Features of the Advanced Security license rely on resources of servers that are located outside of mainland China, which requires cross-border data transmission. Cross-border data transmission is subject to regulatory controls/restrictions. Cisco Meraki will do its best to support users; however, Cisco Meraki cannot assure customers that they will get the same user experience in mainland China due to factors beyond our control. 

Why am I receiving an error when applying a license to an organization in China? 

In order to comply with Chinese cybersecurity law, Cisco Meraki prohibits the application of Advanced Security licenses to organizations that reside in the China Cloud. If attempting to apply an Advanced Security license to an organization that is located within the China Cloud, please contact Meraki Support and open a support case. The Meraki Support team will convert any Advanced Security licenses to an Enterprise license so that it can be applied to the organization.

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