Placing dogma over commerce, China's Internet overlords have apparently been throttling down the speeds of Internet activity within China over the past few days as the National Congress of the Communist Party of China gets underway in Beijing.
Similar to many other instances over the past decade when important meetings or events took place in China, the hyper-sensitive telecommunications companies in China have been delivering slower broadband speeds and frustratingly narrower bandwidth to users throughout China. At ChinaTechNews.com, users over the last 48 hours have emailed asking if others too had these slower issues of reaching websites and services hosted overseas. Users of free VPN services also saw their services shuttered or blocked in recent days.
To make matters worse, the Hurricane Sandy in the United States last week caused service disruptions for many websites hosted in the United States, which also had a deleterious effect on general worldwide Internet infrastructure and usage.
However websites in China, especially the large Web portals and search engines who help disseminate propaganda in China such as Sohu.com, Baidu.com, Sina.com, and Netease.com all appear to load quickly on computers tested in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
The National Congress also caused the cancellation of the Beijing Marathon, an offline athletic event.
Like in previous similar situations, businesses who rely on Internet connectivity can do little in China but wait for the political drama in Beijing to end before they can hope to have faster Internet speeds back. And like before, there has been no official communique from any government entity on how or why the Internet is slow, leading the populace to rumor, innuendo, and self-testing of Internet connectivity.