One week after the earthquake in Taiwan, the internet connections from Europe to China are still extremely slow. I have big difficulties connecting to Chinese sites (I am still in Holland), sometimes it works but often I get server time-outs. For example, yesterday I could read the Shanghai Daily online (after several days of server time-outs), but today it’s again not working. For me this is not a big issues, because most of the sites that I surf to are non-Chinese. But when you are in China the opposite problem occurs, when most foreign sites do not load or load very slowly.
I have the same problem with some of my email accounts. Spillgroup Asia’s email servers are located in Shanghai, and for days I was not able to check that email account. Finally on New Year’s Eve some mails were getting in, and yesterday I received the headers of all my emails. I scanned most of them quickly, and wanted to work on them today. But today the connection is much worse again, probably because more people are online sharing the same lower bandwidth. Now I can see all the titles of mails in my inbox, but when I click on the mails to read them the email client tries to make a connection with the server, which times out. This is actually worse than not being able to receive mails. I now see the mail that I want to read and/or answer, but cannot do it. This afternoon things got a bit better, and with a waiting time of several minutes I can read a mail (but there are still hundreds to read). Attachments are still impossible to open though, but at least I can ask people to resend it to an email account outside China.
I am quite happy that this earthquake occured during a less busy period of the year for me, and I was lucky to be in Europe when it happened. I will be back in Shanghai later this week, and hope the situation will have improved by then.