The Working of the Chinese Internet
- Internet present in China is the best way to be seen in China provided it has access to all three major networks;
- China Telecom
- China Unicom (merge with China Netcom)
- China Mobile
- Only use a Hong Kong internet present if it has the correct routing too directly to mainland China and to Europe through the Middle East.
- Use Japan and Taiwan to host internet present to reduce costs. Useful for then large data volumes are needed
- Singapore – for access to south Asia market
The workings of Chinese internet can be better understood in the context of traffic flow around the internet in Asia and rest of the world.
The movement of traffic around the internet is call “Routing”. The text below the Routing of traffic is simply the path the internet traffic following as it flows from point A to point B.
Traffic from China to the Rest of World
Internet traffic traveling from China with a destination somewhere outside China, with the exception of Hong Kong, is routed through Japan or Taiwan.
Japan for traffic on China Telecom
Taiwan for traffic on China Unicom
It does not pass through Hong Kong. Hong Kong has no internet route to the rest of the world if the starting point for the internet traffic is mainland China.
Once the traffic reaches Japan or Taiwan the internet traffic is split;
Traffic for south Asia travel south normal through Taiwan, Hong Kong and around to Singapore, India, etc.
Traffic for Austrasia follows the same path before splitting off in Hong Kong and travelling south.
Traffic for the rest of world, including Russia, travels to the USA.
The problem for European countries is that the traffic is been routed the long way around the world through the USA
Traffic from China to the Hong Kong
The internet costs between mainland China and Hong Kong are every high ($us100 / 1 MB / PM) so a lot of the traffic from mainland China to Hong Kong is routed through Japan and Taiwan.
If you are using a Hong Kong internet hosting service in Hong Kong make sure it is connecting to mainland China directly else it is faster and more cost effective to hots your internet services in Japan or Taiwan, or both – see GEO DNS.
Please note the main services like QQ mail and Tmall Global are hosted in Hong Kong and have a very fast connection to mainland China.
Traffic from Hong Kong to Rest of World
There are problems with the routing from Hong Kong to the Rest of the World. The routing from Hong Kong often goes through USA, etc., in the same as the traffic traveling from mainland China.
There are some suppliers in Hong Kong that route traffic from to Europe through the Middle East which is the fastest path.
Before selecting a Hong Kong internet hosting service check the network routing is correct.
Traffic to China from the Rest of World
You would think this is straightforward that the internet traffic is routed to China back in the same way it leaves mainland China. In the main this is correct.
We have seen some cases where the routing travels from Hong Kong to USA back to Taiwan, Japan and then mainland China.
As with Hong Kong routing check your service provider’s internet traffic routing before using their services.
Traffic within China
With the above you would think this is straightforward. Like with many companies it is not.
Within China there mainly three internet providers. All government owner and controlled. These companies have been very successfully bringing China on-line over the last 10 years.
There are historical reasons for this. China Telecom was originally one company. It was split into 2 companies over 20 years ago. To start with China Telecom was north of the Yangtze River and China Unicom to the south of the river.
Then both companies were left to trade across each other regions. This enable China to have two telecom suppliers competing in the same marketing. This approach has been very successfully.
China Mobile was added later as the demand for mobile services grow over 10 years ago.
The problem with this approach is the internet corrections between the three companies is very poor. When the internet is busy in China the bridges between the networks get overloaded and between the traffic the three companies slows and sometime fails.
The solution is to connect internet services to all three internet suppliers with the GEO DNS manging traffic between the internet networks.