May Internet Slowdown

Is it my imagination, or has internet speed in Shanghai (for international websites) been extremely slow starting yesterday? Is it just Shanghai, or the rest of China too?

(Did I miss a news story?)

May 10 Update: It seems to be back to normal again.

May 10 Update #2: OK, just kidding. The internet here is crap again.


John Pasden

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


  1. I noticed the internet in Shanghai to be awfully slow compared to Qingdao when I was there the other day.

  2. is the page-loading speed or download speed?
    i find the speed is not steady.

  3. when was it fast?

    depends on your operator, I use cable modern here, 1 Mbps as they advertise, the real speed depends how many uses are in your community. In Shanghai most people agree 2M bps ADSL is the best way to go.

    I heard FTTP(LAN connection in your home) in community is very unstable(when many uses are back from May 1 “golden week”, speed down).

  4. It’s definitely slowed down in Beijing, but the worst was on Monday. From 3am to 9am Monday, I was unable to access any foreign sites… or foreign servers/DNS, to be exact. I thought this at first might be damage control for a story about a Chinese company’s accidentally poisoning children’s cough syrup that received a fair amount of international press attention, but it wasn’t. Since coming back on Monday morning, the internet has had some very slow stretches here, usually in the early morning.

  5. It’s probably due to all of us downloading all of the files from the ChinesePod torrent.

  6. Phoebe Says: May 9, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    I don’t know how it is for you but the sites from China seem very slow recently. I am in Australia.

  7. I have a conspiracy theory now: This afternoon, I again couldn’t connect to any foreign sites for about one hour. I went on Sina and a few Chinese new sites and found no news. However, when I used proxy servers to connect, I had no trouble whatsoever. If there were a hardware or cable connection issue, I wouldn’t be able to connect with the proxies, which are in Germany. So, it’s a censorship issue. I’m guessing the people who ‘don’t censor’ the internet here are installing new software.

    Speaking of… Obviously, blocking internet traffic like this can cause major problems for those conducting business here. Are there large foreign companies that are allowed unfettered internet access here?

  8. krovvy Says: May 9, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    “accidentally” poisoning children’s cough syrup? The products were intentionally mislabeled.

    The internet is always slow here. I get modem-like speeds to most overseas sites. But the sites inside China are lightning-fast! It’s a pity that there’s so little worthwhile content.

  9. Extremely slow in Guangzhou.

  10. In QingDao, haven’t noticed anything.

  11. Fuzhou has been a little slower as well…not sure if this is real or just the placibo effect after reading your post.

  12. kastner,

    All speed.

  13. Alan,

    It was never fast, but it was definitely faster.

    2MB ADSL is what I have at home, and it was totally crawling on Tuesday and Wednesday. Seems OK now.

  14. Shaun,

    Ha ha…

  15. It’s definitely slower and more annoying than ever.

    And no matter what I do I cannot seem to get unblocked.

    At least they haven’t blocked you! Or worse, Chinese Pod! What would we all do?

  16. it is slow here in Guilin, Guangxi.

    But I am just happy to have it back [It was out from December 25-January 30… 太麻烦!]

  17. Urumqi to the States and back is occasionally problematic, but lately it has been exceedingly difficult to transmit data ( video/audio ) for longer than thirty seconds without a freeze or breakdown in quality.

  18. Only problem I’ve had was a lack of electricity yesterday. Internet’s the same old… Still, China Unicom seems to run things very differently than the other ISPs. The earthquake didn’t affect me at all while everybody else was cut off.

    What I’m wondering is why I suddenly need a proxy to read Danwei.

  19. Yeah. The Danwei issue is troublesome, especially since Danwei uses a Chinese server. I’m sure someone will hear something from Goldkorn sooner or later.

  20. Danwei should be back up on the mainland now. We had our provider move to a new, unblocked server.

    I haven’t noticed any significant internet slowdown – actually, the usual weekly weirdness I used to get from Beijing Netcom (every Saturday morning, like clockwork, I suddenly couldn’t access half of the Internet) seems to have cleared up.

    Blogspot, on the other hand…

  21. My 1MB ADSL in Dalian suddenly got slow two days ago, I didn’t think other people were having the same. Haven’t had problems with Danwei though.

  22. danwei (and any chinese website) load within the blink of an eye. while almost any international site can take close to a minute with my “broadband”. some sites are worse than others. i just got Joost, and it’s not exactly ‘streaming’ as it ought to be, dammit!

  23. I am a network engineer in Qingdao

    We have experienced a continual slowdown for the last week and a half.

    My home connections take 10 to 20 seconds to request a page as well.

    When I use IPSEC tunnels or proxies the issue goes away as well.

    There is definitely a problem at the exit routers.

Leave a Reply