How is the web hosting industry different in China?

How Internet marketing and web businesses work in mainland China is substantially different from how things are in the English speaking world. It’s no exception with the web hosting industry that comes in as a fundamental part of all Internet businesses.

As a result of the lack of necessary legal accountability (it can be hard, with bureaucracy and a population of 1.4 billion), web plagiarism is pervading and generally deemed acceptable if the copying website leaves the credits intact, even with materials that are published with full rights reserved.

Understandably, there comes the subsequent abundance of web page scrapers, programmed automatic harvesting demons and intruding robots running all over the web and stealing things from each other. The last thing any web hosting providers in China want to do, is to provide a lot of bandwidth or monthly transfer to website owners. Currently as the most expensive resource, it’ll definitely be fully exploited and used up, causing substantial trouble to hosting providers and data centers.

Therefore, the major difference between web hosting in China and that in western countries is that the monthly transfer or bandwidth quota and server disk storage are incredibly much much smaller.

For instance, a $8 / month shared plan would now offer like dozens of TBs of monthly transfer and several TB storage from major cheap hosting providers. Some are even hyping with unlimited resources for the entry level shared plans costing no more than $15. However in China, with $8 / month which is roughly 650 RMB Yuan per year will only secure a monthly transfer of a few GBs or less and a disk storage of merely hundreds of MBs. That’s thousands times less competitive gauging from the same price level.

A hosting company so stingy in offerings will simply vanish in the western web hosting market, but in China, it just has to be this way.

5 thoughts on “How is the web hosting industry different in China?

  1. The exploit of bandwidth and the large population is but not the main reason for the differences.
    Exploit occurs everywhere when there is abundance, not just in China. Hosting company can always setup policies and monitor the usage then ban the user. This is what western hosting companies do and China hosting companies can (and in fact will) do the same.

    The main reason is bandwidth is expensive and the monopoly by the handful of (state-linked) telecom providers. Combine that with an Internet population more than US but much less bandwidth than US, bandwidth just got to be limited.

    As for disk space, I see 2 reasons:
    1. If bandwidth is already limited, the TBs of storage just don’t get fill up so quickly.
    2. Complacency.
    The marketing is glowing and mere hundred MBs is already meeting demand. No one has stepped forward to challenge the market. Perhaps it is culture or perhaps for fear of being too visible. Hosting is still a regulated business.
    3. Technology.
    No that it is difficult. But in order to really provide “unlimited” disk space some hardware and custom setup is needed via hosting automation, virtualization, disk arrays etc. These are knowledge that many smaller providers don’t have and investment that bigger provider see no incentive to invest in. Talk to the bigger providers (ask me for names) and you will see what I mean.

    Taking together, no one sees an incentive to do provide more than necessary. Now may be someone like to rock the boat?

  2. Pingback: Questions about China bandwidth and speed « 59Box – China Web Hosting Blog

  3. superb article, you went into a lot of detail which helped me understand it a lot more. I will save this site for future use, thanks 🙂

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