Chinese Internet structure
Chinese internet user recommendations
- Internet presence in China is the best way to be seen provided it has access to all three major networks;
- China Telecom
- China Unicom (merge with China Netcom)
- China Mobile
This option is only available if you have a Chinese company and ICP certification.
Many Chinese companies offer platform services in China, e.g. TMall Global, these services are hosted in Hong Kong with listing links on their Chinese platforms. In TMall Global example, the list is call “Trading without borders”
- Only use a Hong Kong based internet presence if it has the connection directly to mainland China and to Europe through the Middle East.
- Use Japan and Taiwan to host internet presence to reduce costs. Useful for large data volumes.
- Singapore, for access to South Asia market. This is a poor option for China, as your internet traffic will often travel through Taiwan or Japan before entering China. Singapore does not have a direct link to mainland China.
Chinese internet structure summary
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 internet traffic around the internet is call “Routing”. The Routing of traffic is simply the path the internet traffic following as it flows from point A to point B. Often the internet traffic does not flow by the most direct route. The Routing paths through the internet are often predetermine costs effective for internet supplier which is not necessary the fastest route for the internet traffic.
Selecting your internet provided, for hosting and internet correction, is key to overall internet content; website, social media, APP, etc., performance.
Chinese internet to the rest of world
Public internet traffic traveling from China with a destination somewhere outside China, except for Hong Kong, is routed through Japan or Taiwan.
- Japan for traffic on China Telecom
- Taiwan for traffic on China Unicom
Public internet traffic to the rest of the world does not pass through Hong Kong. Hong Kong has no internet Routing to the rest of the world from 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 issue for European countries is that the traffic is been routed the long way around the world through USA.
Chinese traffic to Hong Kong
The internet costs between mainland China and Hong Kong are very high ($us100 / 1 MB / PM) so a lot of the traffic from and to China to Hong Kong is Routed through Japan and Taiwan.
If you are using a Hong Kong internet hosting service make sure it is connecting to China directly else it is faster and more cost effective to host your internet services in Japan or Taiwan, or both – please see GEO DNS.
Please note the Chinese platform services, e.g. QQ mail and Tmall Global, are hosted in Hong Kong and have a very fast connection to China and the rest of the world.
Hong Kong traffic to Rest of World
There can be problems with the Routing from Hong Kong to the Rest of the World. The routing from Hong Kong often goes through USA in the same as the traffic traveling from China.
There are Hong Kong suppliers 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 by the fastest paths both for China and rest of world.
Chinese internet traffic 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 China. This is often not the case.
We have seen some cases where the Routing travels from Hong Kong to USA back to Taiwan, Japan and then China.
As with Hong Kong Routing check your service provider’s internet traffic routing before using their services.
Chinese internet performs within China
With the above you would think this is straightforward. Like with many internet companies world-wide this is not the case.
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 the only telecom company in China. 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 corrections sometime fails.
The solution is to connect internet services to all three internet suppliers with the GEO DNS manging traffic between the internet networks.
Web page last modified: Version 1.3 - 23 May 2019