China has the most internet users in the world, the second biggest economy and the world’s 91st fastest internet connections. Yeah, we were surprised it was that high as well.
According to a report published by China Daily last week, via The New York Times, the average broadband connection speed in China is just 9.46 Mbps, barely placing China in the top half of countries around the world.
That’s compared to a blazing-fast 26.7 Mbps average broadband speed in China’s northern neighbor, South Korea, ranked the fastest in the world in the report.
China’s sluggish internet speed is actually thrown in at the bottom of a mostly-positive report touting the “Evolution of the internet in China.” The report states that China has 688 million internet users, including 39 million new ones in 2015. 358 million people use mobile payment systems while 96 million use mobile ride-hailing apps.
And actually, China’s current internet speeds are a big improvement from 2013, when the mainland’s average internet connection clocked in at just 1.5 mbps, good for 98th in the world at the time. Fortunately for us, Shanghai has usually had better than average internet speeds. Here’s an internet speed chart by province from 2013:
Of course, China’s internet speed can become even slower if you use a VPN to access sites outside of the Great Firewall — just as Fan Binxing, the architect of the Great Firewall, was forced to do in front of a live audience earlier this year.
But if China’s internet speed is only mediocre, at least it’s better than its internet freedom, which ranked dead last in the world in a Freedom House survey last year.