According to tests done by www.greatfirewall.biz, the download speed of Gmail in China has plummeted to an average of 34 kbps. That’s 45 times slower than QQ’s speed of 1514 kbps. Or if you’d like your fractions another way, Gmail is now operating at 2.2% the speed of QQ. For most of you, this will just be confirming what we’ve all been experiencing for weeks now.
Yesterday, China dismissed Google’s accusations that Gmail services on the mainland are being disrupted. This new data offers us an even clearer picture of the level of interference – communicating from foreign servers cannot be entirely to blame for the varying speeds, as Yahoo comes in at about 8 times the speed of Google. (For a history of Yahoo’s sketchy morality in China, see here and here, not to mention here.)
GreatFirewall.biz has all kinds of other interesting tests and charts, like a log of blocked search terms, and a list of websites that they regularly test for speed and accessibility (cleverly labeled the Guanxi Index.) Also check out their tracking of Gmail’s speed over the past few weeks. Totally erratic.
Other fishy business is afoot besides simple accessibility issues, however, as reports of account hacking and the like surfaced earlier this month. Melissa Chan of Al Jazeera wrote an excellent article yesterday uncovering the ultra sketchy nature of the ways in which entities in China go about hijacking your account. Definitely worth a read.