We have profiled many China-based companies, reported interesting news from China web in this blog in order to help readers understand local Internet culture, but there is one very fundamental and also key factor missed: the Internet Connection in China. Internet connection probably is not a big deal in most Internet markets, but in China, it is a bit complicated and you’d better take it seriously if you want your service to have perfect nationwide access. We visited ChinaCache Beijing office a year ago and recently were connected to David, Business Development Manager of ChinaCache North America. ChinaCache is the leading provider of professional CDN (Content Delivery Network) service in China, and it takes 75% of China’s CDN market share. Here are the stories:
The Chinese telecommunications industry
Before 1994, the Chinese telecom services were provided by China Telecom, the operational arm of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MTP). Due to a ministerial reorganization, In 1998 the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MTP) was replaced by the new Ministry of Information Industry (MII). The MII soon took two large scale reshuffling actions against the inefficient state-monopoly. The first restructuring is executed In 1999, China Telecom’s business were splitted into thee parts (fixed-line, mobile and satellite). China Mobile and China Satcom were formed to run the mobile and satellite sectors, respectively. However China Telecom was still the monopoly of fixed-line services. In 2002, the second restructuring took place and splitted China Telecom geographically into North and South: China Netcom (CNC) was formed and operated in North China including Beijing, keeping around 30% of the network resources; the new China Telecom keeps around 70% of the resources and operates in South China, including Shanghai. [ref: wikipedia]
After the reshuffle, the state-run monopolistic structure of Chinese telecom industry has changed to a state-run oligopolistic structure. Right now in China, many local districts are supplied by regional providers. Getting information and online content to all the networks has been a challenge because of fierce competition between the providers in order to keep their customer base. Furthermore, there are special networks operating in China, for example the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) which is the first nationwide education and research computer network for University students. More than 900 education and research institutions, 1.2 million PC’s and 8 million users have connected to CERNET in China.
The ChinaCache’s Content Delivery Network
“in China there is often high congestion on the public networks”, David said, “CDN services are important in China because many netizens are not locally centered. There are many Internet café across the whole country and more and more regional cities now have bandwidth access and private computers. Without CDN service in china there isn’t an effective way to push content to the edge, meaning content closest to the end-user so there isn’t a delay”.
Established in 1998, ChinaCache (Beijing Blue I.T. Technologies Co., Ltd.) has been providing customers with all-in-one solution (webcaching, download, application acceleration and QoS and so on) to promptly distribute the content of network for 10 years. As the first licensed CDN service provider by MII, ChinaCache has deployed 350 service nodes in more than 80 cities across China. Its total network capacity had reached over 400Gbps by October 2007, with interconnections to all the major operators including China Telecom, China Netcom, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Railcom, China CERNET etc. With its own dedicated private network, ChinaCache provides for the first time a unified network in China.
With 75% market sharing in China, ChinaCache is definitely playing a very special role in Chinese Internet. In late 2007, ChinaCache has its office open in U.S. More and more content will be requested to be pulled remotely from the western into China, and the connection is the key for every Internet company, which means companies like ChinaCache might be the entry point for those western companies who are intend to provide a nationwide service in Chinese market. So can ChinaCache compete with international companies such as Akamai and become another recognized Chinese Internet company in the global industry? I guess there is possibility.
A side note here to end this post. From my experience, since many local Internet companies are the customers, ChinaCache is also a very good hub for your business development in China.