Slow Internet Speeds in China? It May Be Your Employees’ Doing

Posted by Reading Time: 3 minutes

China OfficeSHANGHAI  A recent spate of complaints over the poor speed of the internet in China, especially in the commercial sector, may be generally attributed to China’s extensive firewall and the country’s relatively slow progress in upgrading its relevant infrastructure such as 4G networks. But another factor may be worth considering if your business is suffering from slow internet speeds and problems downloading data—your employees’ use of company IT facilities.

Employees have a habit of using corporate IT facilities for personal use, especially during breaks, but even during their regular work hours. The use of company computers to watch streaming videos and download video games, films and other data for future personal use is very common. Some of these downloads may take hours to complete, even as the individual is working full-time on a company project. This habit significantly slows down corporate server speeds, uses up huge amounts of available bandwidth, and runs the risk of introducing viruses and malware into the corporate operational environment.

RELATED: China’s Tech Industry Booms as Alibaba Files for Initial Public Offering

Because the use of company IT for personal matters is endemic in China, it is impractical to place a blanket ban on it, especially during lunch and other breaks. Yet it makes sense to introduce to all employees a company protocol designating what is deemed acceptable personal usage—and what is not.

One way to further incentivise staff to comply with these directives is to remind them that personal data stored on company computers can be regarded as company property— this alone is likely to free up memory space almost overnight as files are removed en masse. A chapter on the use of company property—especially IT facilities—should be inserted into your corporate HR manual and signed off on by each new staff member. If not, your company runs the risk of introducing malware and suffering significant reductions in download speeds, impairing its ability to operate at full IT capacity.

Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email or visit

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