Et tu, Flickr?

I’ve been having a lot of trouble accessing Flickr from Shanghai this past week, and it was going on even before I made my trip to the U.S. on July 3rd. This is especially annoying because I had started to use Flickr to host the images I use in my blog, and I was planning to move all my photo albums onto Flickr too. I already upgraded to a pro acount on Flickr and everything. ::sigh::

I wish the major web powers would be more vigilant about monitoring their sites’ accessibility in China. Yahoo owns Flickr, and Yahoo is supposedly buddy-buddy with the Chinese government. You’d think they would have the weight to keep their sites from being slowed to a crawl in China.

I’d love to hear how Flickr is loading in other parts of China.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. kastner Says: July 27, 2005 at 7:30 am

    How big is a Flickr account? I mean free one.

  2. Seriously, I think your internet connection just sucks. I’ve never had a problem accessing Flickr from anywhere in China… nor the vast majority of sites that you have had problems with.

  3. Kastner,

    Unlimited, I believe. You just have monthly upload bandwidth limits, but they’re pretty huge.

  4. John B,

    Yeah… it’s not just mine, though. It’s Shanghai. I try to access sites from multiple connections in Shanghai before I do my whining. According to Micah, dialup is not so affected and works pretty reliably. But I can’t go back to dialup!

  5. I have the same problem on DSL in Shanghai. The strange thing is that pictures stored on Flickr work fine; it’s just the browsing, uploading, etc that’s really slow. I’m assuming this is related to the domain names — pictures are stored on photo[xx] while the main site is

  6. Brad,

    Yeah, I’ve noticed the same thing. Uploading is kind of important though!

  7. Dial-up is not so affected? Dunno -_-||| but aren’t dial-up and DSL using the same line? well, I have the same problem to login some sites which domain is in South America, Taiwan (Disabled) and some island countries in the Pacific.

  8. Flickr seems fine. It’s probably just Shanghai.

    PS. Can you access Yahoo News (

  9. jeffrey Says: July 27, 2005 at 4:43 pm

    I have been having the same trouble as you, John. Flickr is slow to the point of inaccessible. And so is Yahoo News. very frustrating!

  10. jeffrey,

    Thanks for the report. Are you in Shanghai too?

    I have the same issue with Yahoo News, but since Yahoo News is free and there are plenty of other news sources, I don’t really mind that so much…

  11. about flickr in china:

    i was in Kunming in flickr was working fine.
    but my girlfriend still in Kunming told me about difficulties with flickr now. (believe it or not, we met on flickr!)

  12. On my first journey to the PRC to meet my girlfriend’s family. Flickr pops right up without issue at her parents’ place in Dalian. I must say, I came here expecting a much more restrictive environment…but the only site I’ve noticed I can’t access is radio free asia ( Well, out of the sites I regularly browse, that is.

  13. If it’s any consolation, Flickr has been very flaky the last 48 hours, not just in China, but altogether. It’s “down” now having a “massage.” It crapped out for me yesterday, seems they are having technical problems.

  14. Flickr loads fine in Beijing.

  15. greg pasden Says: July 31, 2005 at 5:54 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing more pics!

  16. Shaoxing: Uploading to flickr is fast (but only via mail). Surfing and Managing the pictures on flickr is slow. The same in Hangchow and Shanghai.

  17. I’m in Chengdu and I’ve had a lot of trouble opening Flickr as well. It sometimes opens eventually, nut never without a struggle. I’ve just started using

  18. Update:

    Flickr is suddenly loading much more quickly today! I’m not sure what happened there. Good news, though.

  19. I started using Flickr in like April in my city near Zhengzhou, Henan. it always worked great, and I really like it. I have been back in America 3 months now, so I don’t know how it is at present

  20. I am in Washington State (US) on a T-1 line and flickr grinds to a halt with increasing frequency. Other websites are quick while flickr just locks up.

  21. Glacially slow as of now in Shanghai (equivalent to dial-up speeds, if not less), both from my China Telecom ADSL line at home and my work Internet connection.

  22. china didn’t ban flickr? yay.

  23. Unfortunately, it’s snail pace at the moment. I am based in Shanghai as well.

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