10 February 2017
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE GREAT FIREWALL OF CHINA IN 2017?
Put simply, lots. Despite proclamations by the Chinese President that the country is open for business, new Internet restrictions suggest otherwise.
The Great Firewall of China and the Golden Shield Project are set to become even more obstructive. A twelve-month project to tighten up the country’s Internet borders is now underway by the authorities.
Having previously survived a crackdown in March 2016, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), the most popular method of avoiding government restrictions and surveillance, are once again under threat.
This resurgence of Internet protectionism promises to affect financial organizations across the country as well as international traders connecting to Chinese exchanges and brokers.
Internet sovereignty is back on the agenda
Brokerages are familiar with these challenges already. Many have grappled with the Great Firewall since its inception in 1996.
Over the years, Chinese brokerages and international firms remotely trading in China have invested heavily in their connectivity only to be plagued by poor latencies and unsatisfactory performance.
This move by the Chinese government threatens to nullify any progress, unleash a host of new technical issues and shake customer confidence.
FX traders in China face similar threats, albeit also from a regulatory perspective.
SAFE, the Chinese foreign exchange regulator, has implemented strict new regulations aimed at preventing large sums of money from leaving the country – $50,000 per individual annually.
For FX brokers, it’s another layer of unwanted complexity. The same applies to global organizations looking to acquire high-wealth clients in China.
That said, even with these disruptions in mind, China remains a lucrative trading location for many and shouldn’t be avoided simply because international openness has taken a backseat.
Looking beyond the wall
We know this news leaves many of you wondering:
- What Chinese connectivity will be like over the coming months
- Whether government restrictions will tighten further
- How to improve network performance
Successfully connecting to China requires four elements.
- Extensive knowledge of the local telecoms landscape
- Regulatory compliance
- A healthy dose of patience
- Plenty of accurate market information.
Also vital is the capability to act on market trends as quickly as possible.
For businesses with an established customer base in China, keeping abreast with regulatory changes is crucial.
For example, how does the recent announcement from the Cyberspace Administration of China affect hosting within the country? Does this new clampdown on mobile marketplaces affect companies offering applications for trading on the move?
For brokerages working on the London Metal Exchange and the Shanghai Futures Exchange, another example is pre-empting market events such as the annual slowdown that occurs around Chinese New Year.
Trading volumes drop as Chinese investors go on holiday and then inevitably spike again when they return. Can your network cope with and anticipate such changes without impacting your business?
Market intelligence rules supreme
These two cases also show how crucial it is to have a network provider that can apply its technical knowledge rapidly.
With the ever-changing dynamics of the Chinese market, it’s imperative your connectivity reacts accordingly.
Supporting our customers in this way is one reason among many why companies choose us.
As one brokerage shared:
“It is crucial we have a network service partner that understands the Asian landscape and specifically the ever-changing dynamics of the Chinese market. We’ve been really impressed with BSO’s knowledge of the local market from day one and believe it was essential for developing the best solution for our needs.”
Specialised market knowledge drives our pre-emptive engineering and technical know-how.
With the Chinese government’s clampdown expected to cause disruption throughout the year, our customers rest easy knowing we are doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes.
We’re constantly adapting and evolving our network so our customers have resilient connectivity into the region.
Our mission is to keep you informed so you can focus on what’s important – maximizing the opportunities a country with 700 million Internet users offers.