Faster, cheaper In­ter­net to push Chi­nese e-com­merce

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China’s Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang wants to give the Chi­nese faster, cheaper In­ter­net ac­cess to help fuel the coun­try’s e-com­merce ob­ses­sion and bol­ster the econ­omy. Though China’s av­er­age brows­ing speeds are still be­low the global av­er­age, the coun­try has made strides in pro­vid­ing faster con­nec­tions to cur­rent users.

Pre­mier Li in­tro­duced China’s “In­ter­net Plus” ac­tion plan at a press con­fer­ence dur­ing an an­nual leg­isla­tive ses­sion last week. Mak­ing clear he was dis­ap­pointed with the state of China’s In­ter­net, he said, “It is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine how un­der­de­vel­oped our in­for­ma­tion in­fra­struc­ture is.

China’s In­ter­net speeds are well be­low other those of Asian na­tions and eco­nomic com­peti­tors. Ac­cord­ing to data pro­vided by In­ter­net re­search and strat­egy firm Aka­mai Tech­nolo­gies and busi­ness so­lu­tions provider China Net Cen­ter, the av­er­age speeds at­tained in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries like South Korea and Ja­pan are more than quadru­ple China’s. The spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion of Hong Kong, which sits just south of the main­land, boasts the sec­ond-high­est av­er­age In­ter­net speed in the world.

Still, China has shown im­prove­ment. China Net Cen­ter data shows that in just one year, China was able to in­crease the per­cent­age of ge­o­graph­i­cal ar­eas with ac­cess to the high­est avail­able In­ter­net speed in the coun­try by 20 per­cent.

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