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2 Chinese ISPs Serve 20% of World Broadband Users 110

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "If you need a reminder of just how big China is—and just how important the Internet has become there—consider this stat: between them, two Chinese ISPs serve 20 percent of all broadband subscribers in the entire world and both companies continue to grow, even as growth slows significantly in more developed markets. Every other ISP trails dramatically. Japan's NTT comes in third with 17 million subscribers, and all US providers are smaller still. 'The gap between the top two operators and the world's remaining broadband service providers will continue to grow rapidly,' said TeleGeography Research Director Tania Harvey. 'Aside from the two Chinese companies, all of the top ten broadband ISPs operate in mature markets, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth.'"
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2 Chinese ISPs Serve 20% of World Broadband Users

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cat Power is better for all

  • Or something like that.
    • Someone could convert both ISP prices and statistics to compare with our ISPs ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        On average, Internet access is ~30% cheaper in China than in the US, which is actually fucking expensive for China if you consider the average salary in China vs. average Salary in the US.

        • Yeah well, They're catching up [msn.com].. Yet another nail in our coffin

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Nursie ( 632944 )

            Why another nail in the coffin?

            If their pay catches up then they lose the competetive advantage and investment in the US becomes more viable again, surely?

            • by maxume ( 22995 )

              People think economics is like a pie, and they do done wanna git theirs.

              (Really, it is more like a bakery)

            • Because American are letting their wages and working conditions decline. They don't have to, but they are. It's like they've just given up... Acquiescing to whatever authority tells them to... "for the children" or "their own safety". Americans go down on their knees to it, while in China, where it is expected (by western standards), is turning out to be full of surprises. American politics has become a farce. And for such a young country, its demeanor is more like that of a grumpy old man that completely c

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by icebike ( 68054 )

          What constitutes broadband in China?

          Its commonly claimed (usually with little in the way of statistics) that what qualifies as broadband in the USA would not be considered broadband in other countries.

          (Usually the comparison countries are European, where there is a strong state funded telecom authority.)

  • Choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @10:51PM (#33079130) Journal

    And I bet the two ISPs serve different regions, in which case citizens wouldn't even get to choose between A and B.

    • by bsDaemon ( 87307 )

      Because of all the things Chinese citizens could possible complain about, which state-owned pipe to the great firewall to choose from is totally going to rank in the top 5?

    • Well, a quick internet search pulled up 20 different ISP's [findouter.com] in China so it might not be as clean cut as A or B.
    • Re:Choice (Score:5, Informative)

      by koxkoxkox ( 879667 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @01:45AM (#33079880)

      Exactly, at least in the Beijing area where I live. They precisely delimited which area each company serve, and redirect you to the other one if you call them but are not in their area.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I've lived in Beijing (4 different locations), Dongguan and Shenzhen.

        In most cases you can choose from both Unicom(CNC) and Telecom. Just the older buildings typically cannot because, indeed, in the past, the market was divided. The real scam though is, that the many local/community/building ISP there are not allowed to peer with International ISP's. This means your International traffic will always go through Unicom(CNC), Telecom or, sometimes, China Mobile.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by euyis ( 1521257 )
      Actually there're choices - some time earlier the huge China telecommunications company broke up and became two separate corporations, with Netcom (later merged with Unicom as per orders from the government in order to "create more competition" and "optimize the structure") serving north China and Telecom serving south. They expanded into the rival's territories rapidly and actually competed with each other at the beginning, but the two biggest ISPs soon realized that competition was not a good idea for the
  • by thej1nx ( 763573 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:06PM (#33079220)
    The statement in the article could also be translated, less flatteringly, to "Rest of the world has already achieved adequate penetration of internet for most of their population, while China still has long way to go".

    Keep in mind that in already saturated markets, like Tania Harvey says, growth of the market becomes pretty slow. Almost everyone in Japan, for example, already uses internet on PC or their cellphones etc. The companies may get customers to switch between them, but finding new customers is much harder.

    Not to mention the "quality" of internet, one gets in China, what with half of it being blocked out/censored anyways. Long way to go before they catch up with the rest of the world.

    • Not to mention the "quality" of internet, one gets in China, what with half of it being blocked out/censored anyways.

      If half the internet is blocked then that means their connection is effectively twice as fast!

    • Not to mention the "quality" of internet, one gets in China, what with half of it being blocked out/censored anyways.

      Give Australia some time... They don't seem content to play second fiddle in that department.

    • The Chinese ISPs don't give two shits about hackers. So there's all kinds of bad stuff floating around on them. Not only puts you at risk as a subscriber, but means you getting even more blocked. A company gets a bunch of hack attempts and mails the ISP saying "Hey, you've got a baddy on your network." Their reply is, and I'm not making this up "That's not our IP address," even though APNIC says it is. So then the company says "Fuck you," and shitlists the ISP.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:11PM (#33079254) Homepage

    How is this really news?

    At all levels, China's GDP continues to grow while western nations stagnate or creep forward. China is developing while the west has already developed it products and service offerings. Eventually, they will reach a saturation point like the west and slow down. But get ready to accept them as the 1# economic super power when that happens. Simply put, they have far more human resources to tap into. The only thing holding them back right now is local politics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MikeURL ( 890801 )
      Planned economies can look positively brilliant while they are industrializing. We have the Soviet Union as a case study in how communism can raise up an entire nation from farmers to industrial superpower in a single generation. A stunning achievement by any measure.

      Of course we have also seen how a planned economy can be a victim of its own success. Which way China will go is tough to say but betting on them fully industrializing seems safe. It is what happens after that point that isn't clear.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Your post should be modded funny. China's growth has only started when and to the extent to it opened it's economy to capitalism. It's nothing to do with central planning. It's to do with selling off its vast population as a cheap labor force for capitalist (initially mostly Western, Japanese and Taiwanese, and more recently Chinese) companies.

        Btw, sure you can accomplish a specific goal in the short term if you turn a nation of 100 million into 100 million slave laborers dedicated to that goal, and sacr
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by jandersen ( 462034 )

          China's growth has only started when and to the extent to it opened it's economy to capitalism

          Not quite - China has not "opened to Capitalism", they have merely allowed a free(-r) market to develop under Communism. Whether you believe it or not, China's economy is still tightly controlled by the central government - which is precisely why they haven't succumbed to the woes that hit Russia, where a few got obscenely rich and most of the rest fell on hard times - because Yeltsin, in his drunken stupor, just let go. Happily for the Chinese, their government have chosen a far more restrained and discipl

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EEPROMS ( 889169 )
      You are seriously deranged if you think China "with over 500 million people earning less than $2 a day" (higher than India) is a economic light for the rest of us to follow. The reality is China needs 12% growth just stop going backwards when compared to the west.
    • One piece of data for those thinking China is just about to take over: China GDP per capita $6,500 (slightly better than Namibia, slightly worse than El Salvador). by comparison USA: $46,000. As far as living standards go, China has a looong way to go and some major transformations on the way. Selling off your population as cheap labor force is only gonna take you so far. You pretty soon have to deal with the fact that the increasingly well off population starts demanding certain things that a totalitarian
      • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @03:29AM (#33080276) Homepage

        One piece of data for those thinking China is just about to take over: China GDP per capita $6,500 (slightly better than Namibia, slightly worse than El Salvador). by comparison USA: $46,000. As far as living standards go, China has a looong way to go and some major transformations on the way.

        It's sometimes useful to think of China as two countries; a somewhat-developed country of about 400 million, mostly in the coastal provinces, plus another 900 million rural peasants. There's a formal registration system ("hukou") [washington.edu] to enforce this division, tying peasants to their home area. It's not as rigid as it once was, but it's still in effect. Most of the economic gains are being realized by urban workers.

      • It's quite possible that the China government will loosen its restrictions to allow for capitalist growth while trying to maintain political power, as their behavior seems mostly geared towards cultivating economic power. I think it'll be more likely to see their population have a higher standard of living, but their explosive growth will slow down as they reach the gdp of other industrialized nations. Mostly because manufacturers will start to look for other sources of cheap labor or transportation resourc
    • Actually, I think the only thing holding them back at the moment is the time it takes to actually put the infrastructure in place. For example they are building two new power stations every week, which is a lot by any measure, but it will still take them a long time to get all the power stations they need for their population.

    • You're right, China does have more human resources to tap into. And so far they're doing a poor job of it.

      Note the conspicuous lack of innovation from China. What do the vacuum tube, the transistor, and the integrated circuit have in common? They weren't invented in China. What do the Internet, email, and social networking have in common. They were all viewed as dangerous by the Chinese government.

      Perhaps the most import thing we learned from Copernicus and Galileo is not that the Earth goes around th
    • by tokul ( 682258 )

      The only thing holding them back right now is local politics.

      The only thing keeping them together is local politics. IMHO Chinese need strong ruler to keep them together or country might fall into smaller pieces like it did n times before.

      • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

        For the average rural Chinese citizen they exist as a serf in an agrarian feudal society, as they have been for the last hundreds (thousands?) of years. The difference is that instead of some noble lord, they have the corrupt local appointed bureaucrat.

        In most of china, the central government has no real influence in how the regional governors use their share of government income, so the bureaucrats take advantage of the situation.

  • The more providers the better. That way nobody has a corner on the market and if you don't like your service you have options.
    • I agree. They should get a little competition going between several ISPs. What are they, a bunch of communists?

  • Pfff (Score:5, Funny)

    by BitHive ( 578094 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:18PM (#33079288) Homepage

    I bet if they deregulate they could get that down to just one ISP.

  • Define broadband (Score:3, Insightful)

    by voss ( 52565 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:18PM (#33079290)

    Do you define it as 256kbps(like the US did until 2 years ago), 1.5 mbps(at&t basic DSL), 10m(comcast), 25-50mbps(FIOS,uverse, next gen comcast)?

    in the US there are plenty of users who cant yet get above 5 mbps.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Broadband is faster than dialup.

    • 5mbps? Man, it'd take over 2 hours just to receive "5mbps"!
    • by Macrat ( 638047 )

      Do you define it as 256kbps(like the US did until 2 years ago), 1.5 mbps(at&t basic DSL), 10m(comcast), 25-50mbps(FIOS,uverse, next gen comcast)?

      in the US there are plenty of users who cant yet get above 5 mbps.

      I barely get 5mbs on Comcast. But still better than DSL.

    • Broadband is any service where the line is shared with other services. So any speed of cable or DSL qualifies. The network is not the exclusive link, it rides on top of cable and/or phone. A certain, generally wide, part of the frequency range is used. Baseband would be what it is opposed to and that would be something like Ethernet. The entire signal is for the network. The signal goes all the way down to 0Hz.

      As a practical matter, anything faster than a modem in a home is "broadband." Very rare to find fa

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:24PM (#33079316) Homepage Journal

    I don't know what the point of this story is. China's a mafia economy, Japan's is state capitalism, America's is based on cartels that compete within with each other, but primarily defend their mutual cartel from any newcomer. None of that is good.

    A healthy Internet is one that's highly distributed, decentralized. The more ISPs per person, the healthier and more stable the Internet. The more Chinese it is, the worse.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are mistaken. Russia's may be a mafia economy, China's definitely not. It's more like Japan's state capitalism.

      You are also mistaken to assume that China ONLY has 2 ISPs - absolutely wrong. China probably has more ISPs than US or any other country. The original article merely states that two big ISPs from China have highest subscriber counts - not market share percentages!! Big distinction.

      In fact, China's ISP industry, for quite a while anyway, suffers from hyper cut-throat competition and low capital

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )

        I am not mistaken. China's economy is mafia. The government is the mafia. It enforces its policies by brutal force, it is highly corrupt, the people have no rights protected, only protected by fear of a counterrevolution or a discouraged work slowdown. The government exploits labor and nature to ruination, enforced by fear of violence. Crime is OK for cronies, competition is prohibited outside of what benefits the rulers. That's a mafia economy. In Russia, the mafia is part of the economy, but the governmen

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So why is this news? It has 20% of the people in the world, so it has 20% of the broadband users .

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by daveime ( 1253762 )

      It's news because unlike other countries, which just talk about it, China sets a goal of giving every user Broadband access, then DOES IT.

      • by thej1nx ( 763573 )
        It's news because unlike other countries, which just talk about it, China sets a goal of giving every user Broadband access, then DOES IT.

        You don't really understand what was said, do you? Or maybe you don't really understand how ratios and percentages actually work.

        Let us see. United states for example, consists of 4.5% of world population and yet consists of 12% of world internet users. China consists of 21% of world's population and yet consists of mere 20% of world internet users. Clearly the inter

        • While OP is clearly clueless, you should've sticked to explaining penetration percentages. The 20% mentioned is *not* the chinese total, but only the total of the two largest ISP's within China.
      • Wouldn't you say that is easier to accomplish when the large majority of the population lives in more urban Areas? I don't have any stats, but I think I'd be safe to assume that the higher density populations in China is in the larger urban areas of the country. Thus making it easier to get the infrastructure in place for providing broadband.

        The US is more spread out and doesn't have the infrastructure in place to provide broadband to "every user".

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday July 29, 2010 @11:44PM (#33079420)

    Does this mean as actual paying subscribers to a private residence?

    Or does this mean "providing internet access to" some large group of people who primarily use internet cafes, cell phones or some other shared access method?

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think these are individual subscribers and broadband subscribers. The article quotes 55 M for China Telecom, which is about right.

      By the way, a lot of earlier comments show staggering degree of ignorance - it's really sad. With the exception of content censorship issues, Chinese telecom, mobile and Internet businesses are amazingly vibrant and advanced, more advanced in some areas than US. While large telecom operators used to be monopolistic and bureaucratic, they have been rapidly deregulated and made c

  • I've been trying to figure out why everything I do online ends up in Mandarin. And to think I blamed my breakfast fruit of choice.
  • Hey! That's the same number of ISPs I get to choose from in the US!
    Individuals in the US may not have much for options either but I do feel a little better that our gov has to work a little harder to spy on our net traffic than they do in China where it's all centralized for them in one of two places.

    • You get two ISPs? All we have here is... Comcast. Well, I guess I could do dialup somewhere.
    • Where I live in Britain, Sam Knows says I get to chose from the following:

      Wireless - (not Wifi or HSDPA, it is a bit faster than that) - Now Broadband
      Cable - Virgin Media
      ADSL - BT, AOL, O2/Be Cable & Wireless, NewNet, Orange, Sky/EasyNet, TalkTalk and Tiscali (two sets of pipes)
      HSDPA - O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Three

      Carphone Warehouse owns AOL, TalkTalk and Tiscali, so they have a total of four sets of pipes to my exchange

      In addition, there are various virtual operators who use the pipes owned by

  • This article once again proves the thesis that the world hunger will come when the people of China realize they are eating only the garnish. And that we will need the new IPv6 when the people of China realize that Internet is vital.
  • Given that China also has about 20% of the world's people, doesn't this article simply mean that China is more or less average?
  • Impossible! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @04:56AM (#33080564) Homepage

    The numbers simply don't add up:
    -We know Chinese ISP's block all interesting content like pr0n.
    -We know at least 95% of internet users browse pr0n almost daily.

    So how can this be? :)

  • I can just see it now.... the first glimse inside one of china's ISPs... a single room, with a flashed WRT54G router in the middle of it.

  • I KNEW it! (Score:3, Funny)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Friday July 30, 2010 @06:51AM (#33080900) Journal

    People have always tried to tell me that spam is automatically generated, but I KNEW BETTER! I knew, deep down in my soul that it was really millions of Chinese peasants, hooked up to TTY machines, flooding teh intarwebz with router clogging texts and Bayesian fooling, poorly constructed English non-sense.

    • Speekeng of witch, A lady dide last nyte and left you ten trillyon american dollars! If you could just send me your adress, social security, name, phone number, and date of birth to konfirm youre identity, I can give you your moneys!

      *Disclaimer - this is just a joke. Don't send me your information because I don't have shit for you and don't want it.*
  • Sure, they have 20% of the broadband users. But after Red China Filtering they only have access to 20% of the internet. :)

  • And right now, they all seem to be accessing the linked site.
  • We've got all the IP addresses.

    • by koona ( 920057 )
      Well I have certainly learned a lot on this thread.
      What y'all are missing is the up and comming new world order..
      These percentages being bandied about as if they were real objects are merely PR fluff..
      The burgeoning "Internet useage" reported for the usa's is mere "surogate tv" .
      I suspect there is a certain (small) amount of that in chinkland as well, But I also suspect a large percentile of serious business oriented (make stuff happen)content..
      Overall, IMHO, the chicoms, with their 90% dedicated

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