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Friday, 9 February, 2001, 16:14 GMT
Chinese cut off from internet
Young people surf at an internet stall
Is there anybody out there?
Damage to an undersea cable has cut millions of Chinese off from the internet, and the problem could take weeks to fix.

China Telecom has said that a major cable was cut at about 0800 local time (0000 GMT).


We are sparing no effort to redirect traffic through other channels

China Telecom spokeswoman Wang Yang
The company is trying to reroute internet traffic through satellites and other cables, but users who can access overseas sites are reporting slow connections.

The cause of the damage is not yet known.

Neighbours affected

Taiwanese officials said users on the island were also unable to access international sites.

Chinese computer users
Chinese users will find connections slow
And Hong Kong and Singapore reported reduced speeds.

The damaged cable, which links Shanghai with the west coast of the United States, is just over a year old.

Reports suggest that damage could take anything from a week to three weeks to repair.

'Sparing no effort'

"We are sparing no effort to redirect traffic through other channels, but access speeds could be fairly slow", China Telecom spokeswoman Wang Yang said.

Other telecommunications cables link China to the rest of the world, but the damaged one carried most of the traffic.

Chinese internet users can still access domestic sites, but many Chinese businesses have their main servers overseas.

China Telecom, the state phone giant, plans a multi-billion-dollar stock listing in New York and Hong Kong this year.

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See also:

29 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
China moves to control internet
07 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
China targets 'enemies' on net
02 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
China tightens internet controls
09 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
China to battle internet 'enemies'
02 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
China cracks down on internet cafes
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