China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 10/22/2013 | 17 comments

Andrew Froehlich
The Chinese government recently decided to offer foreign Internet service providers (ISPs) licenses to sell Internet services within the special economic zone called the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. This is a big step forward, and it's great news for those companies that were struggling to function at full capacity using local providers.

If you've ever had to operate a remote office in China, you're probably well aware that getting things accomplished over there takes an extra bit of patience and ingenuity. From a technology perspective, much of the difficulty revolves around inadequate data and voice communications between remote sites in China and facilities in the West. Until recently, the only options for ISPs were national carriers such as China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom -- all of which are state-owned enterprises.

For years, enterprises with thousands or tens of thousands of employees in China resorted to building their own private WAN infrastructures using technologies like multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). This was done partly to circumvent the Chinese government's content filtering, but it mostly had to do with the limits on what Chinese-operated providers could deliver in terms of bandwidth, latency, and reliability. Even though services have improved in recent times, latency remains a major issue, so private MPLS networks remain an absolute must, despite the enormous costs.

The problem for small and midsized remote sites in China is that MPLS is cost prohibitive. The only alternative was to use a local Internet provider and tunnel traffic back to the West over a virtual private network connection. It was illegal for MPLS network owners to offer private-line services to their smaller counterparts, because the owners would then essentially be competing against state-run providers.

But the Chinese government is finally starting to relax its noncompete laws and accept bids from foreign service providers to offer Internet services to other foreign companies. The idea is that China wants to be seen as a flexible place to do business. A foreign ISP will be allowed to purchase a license, build its own MPLS infrastructure with very few hops back to the West, and offer low-latency services at reasonable rates to small to midsized remote sites that need them.

This is great news for many Western companies that were in desperate need of faster data communications, but I must reiterate that foreign ISPs are being allowed to operate only within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Companies with offices or factories in areas like Shenzhen are still out of luck.

But progress is progress, and hopefully the popularity of foreign ISPs working in the Shanghai FTZ will lead to relaxation of the foreign ISP competition rules in other major Chinese cities. This may be the turning point that many businesses were seeking in an attempt to bolster communications between the East and the West.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
batye   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   2/6/2014 4:07:20 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
it all depends on the country and other political factors in play.... but at least we see change... and this is important...
Umair Ahmed   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/31/2013 5:36:17 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
@ Sara: I personally believe in some parts of the world censorship has done well for the community. Public reactions to some issues in different parts of the world are very different, and authorities need censorship to maintain stability. It is not always the suppressing armor of the authoritarian regime. I have visited China twice and have number of Chinese friends living in China; they do not consider themselves oppressed.
Sara Peters   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/31/2013 5:30:20 PM
Re: Progress
@Andrew  Even if it's a slow positive step I'm satisfied with the fact that it's a step in the right direction. These kind of major shifts in culture and global economic policy don't happen overnight.
Sara Peters   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/31/2013 5:28:37 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
@Umair  I'm hoping for the same: "I hope that along with welcoming foreign ISPs, the Chinese government would also reduce the state level content filtering, particularly restricting social media." I do, however, think that China has a right to be whatever it wants to be. I worry sometimes that the US foreign policy has a tradition of being rather pushy and wants every other country's culture to be more like our own. I myself don't think I could live there with that level of censorship, though

singlemud   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/28/2013 1:03:56 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
I think Chinese govement has no control on the content the Foreign ISPs carries, so it should be free speech zone.
Hospice_Houngbo   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/26/2013 7:51:05 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
That may take some time, because the chinese regime is still an authoritarian regime. Freedom of speech and access to information without restriction will come with more democracy.
tinym   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/26/2013 4:38:39 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
@Umair it would be great if they relaxed filtering for the free trade zone but I'm not optimistic.
Umair Ahmed   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/26/2013 11:55:53 AM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
Seems very limited but good move by the Chinese authorities. I hope that along with welcoming foreign ISPs, the Chinese government would also reduce the state level content filtering, particularly restricting social media.
Hospice_Houngbo   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/25/2013 8:54:22 PM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
More players in a business sector benefits users for sure, as competitions enable more innovations and affordable prices.
sherly_mendoza   China Relaxes Some Laws on Foreign ISPs   10/25/2013 12:46:10 AM
Re: Private industry to the rescue
@Hammad: China has always had strict laws. I remember a friend who lived there for two years. She told me stories about how their computers in school (she worked as an English teacher) were regularly monitored. There was even one time when authorities barged into their school and opened all computers and the files inside them because they traced some suspicious activity coming from one of the computers there. IF I remember it right, I think their computer files were deleted (most of them, anyway). So this change in ISP policy is definitely welcome news. And we can only hope that similar things will happen in the near future.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>


The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Andrew Froehlich
Andrew Froehlich   5/6/2014   13 comments
Not all clouds are equal. That's a pretty obvious statement that we can all agree on. Cloud service providers offer differing levels of services, redundancy, and customer service -- all at ...
Andrew Froehlich   4/30/2014   10 comments
In order for enterprise employees to work together as one unified group, they must follow carefully written policies and procedures -- but every once in a while, you may find yourself in ...
Andrew Froehlich   4/22/2014   49 comments
For those of us who study enterprise IT security, last year's Target store hack turned out to be a fantastic case study that was loaded with lessons to learn.
Andrew Froehlich   4/16/2014   22 comments
With news that Google slashed the price of their big-data offering "Big Query" by up to 85 percent, one has to wonder if the move is to ward off competitors -- or simply that the ...
Andrew Froehlich   3/18/2014   27 comments
At a recent South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Edward Snowden said the NSA is "setting fire to the future of the Internet." In light of this, the World Wide Web ...
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
moderators@enterpriseefficiency.com
SPONSORED BY DELL
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 OEM Video


On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments


Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   11 comments


The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   6 comments


TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments


Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments


IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments


TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments


TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   6 comments


The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments


The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Curtis Franklin Jr.
OEMs Change Roles

1|18|13   |   1:55   |   3 comments


OEMs can change markets – here's why IT should have a say in the decision.
Tom Nolle
The Enterprise Side of Amazon Fire

9|29|11   |   2:04   |   6 comments


Amazon Fire’s split-browser model hosts some of the GUI in the cloud, which could have a major impact on virtual desktop thinking.
Curtis Franklin Jr.
The OEM Relationship

9|13|11   |   02:02   |   1 comment


The growth of OEM relationships means that enterprise IT execs must pay closer attention to who's responsible for support and development.
Pablo Valerio
Can't Land on the Runway Behind You

8|15|11   |   1:36   |   1 comment


One lesson from aviation also applies to big IT projects: Give yourself plenty of leeway and have room to maneuver.
Ivan Schneider
Flecksequence Explained

7|28|11   |   2:46   |   3 comments


How to use the term in a sentence and, more importantly, how flecksequence can help manufacturers.
Sara Peters
E2 Has a New Look!

7|20|11   |   2:53   |   6 comments


E2's gotten a makeover. Take a tour through some of our new features.