Regular readers will know that China is aiming for 100 Mbps broadband in some regions by 2015. But for now, most Chinese web users spend a lot of time looking at spinning or expanding loading graphics as their under-performing broadband struggles to deliver.
Slow broadband has significant implications in a lot of areas: it could cramp the phenomenal rise of e-commerce in China, thwart startups, and even deter foreign direct investment. China’s MIIT has said that, as of the end of 2011, 83 percent of Chinese broadband users were on at least 2 Mbps connections. That’s a long way short of 100 Mbps.
So which areas are zooming ahead or lagging behind? This infographic from ChinaCache – the folks who run this local speed test site – shows that, perhaps unsurprisingly, China’s much more developed southern and eastern regions have the best home and office web speeds, with averages close to 6 Mbps. But with neighboring Hong Kong three times faster than Shanghai, it’s clearly still a question of struggling infrastructure. Shanghai is the fastest in the mainland, and accelerating away from the others with an 86 percent increase in speed between December 2011 and May 2012. Notice that the supposed tech hub around Guangdong province – which contains Shenzhen, borders Hong Kong, and is a GDP powerhouse – has some truly lamentable broadband speeds:
For more fun graphics like this one, check out previous entries in our infographic series.
[Source: ChinaCache / ChinaWebReport]