China Telecom is ADSL Spammer

Look at this screen:


This is the screen users using Shanghai China Telecom ADSL see when they dial up and first visit a website. The ad is so dominate and changes the way the original page is displayed. It appear for few seconds and then disappear.

In the wild west Internet, what ever behavior is possible, and allowed.

22 thoughts on “China Telecom is ADSL Spammer

  1. This IS pretty wild. There are companies in US do this if you only reg. your domain with them and want to us their hosting for free. I don’t think any paid plans nor internet providers are allowed to do this…

    How does it work in China? China Telecom is a internet provider… right? Is there such a thing as hosting company… or you have to use China Telecom as hosting company? Also, I never quite understand why is that the internet providers (China Telecom and others) don’t offer email accounts when you sign up with their service. Most people I know use mail services like yahoo, hotmail, vip.163 etc.? Can you get email addresses with your own url…

  2. I hate this. I hate it. The problem is that if you want broadband in Shanghai, this is kind of what there is. Does anyone have any experience with cable internet?

  3. i have experienced this a couple of times before, but it always disappear, so it’s ok~

  4. To clarify how this works, China Telecom is injecting ads into pages when you try to access them (via an iframe). This can happen on any site, seemingly at random: so there’s nothing the website can do, and it happens regardless of the browser being used. Pretty nasty. Normally, refreshing the page gets rid of it.

  5. @ecodelta, there is nothing we can do on the firefox side. China Telecom, as ISP, can do anything they want. Many ISP do illegal stuff, but since they are backed by the government, there is no way to sue them.

    For example, they can give you web page of Baidu when you type in Google, or change whatever content of a web site on the fly, or more commonly, block sites so you cannot access it.

  6. This defect caused by domain hijacking from China Telcomm, you can get issue analysing and solustions after searching the key words “电信 DNS 劫持”.



    2.投诉电信PUSH业务.这个业务叫PUSH 强推广告业务,电信增值业务部门正在招标和测试.所以特别要强调,请把我的adsl帐号用测试名单中去掉.特别强调从push 广告业务测试中去掉自己.





  7. What about using your favorite anti-GFW proxy/vpn/tunnrel strategy. It may also work against such tricks from China Telecom.

    Such a system can be even installed within Chinese internet, within the boundaries of the GFW,

    Comply with Chinese….Ahem…. regulations, maybe even good speed, but tunnel through Telecom’s dirty tricks.

    Would such strategy work?

  8. If it works, maybe an business oriented IT-man can implement it as pay service inside China.

    “Enjoy our legal, pure, unadulterated, honest and crystal clear Internet access. Available for low a monthly fee. Test free for 15 days”

    (Access Restrictions to “Unharmonious” websites still apply. Comply with state regulations ;-)

    I have Even service name proposals

    “Blue Skies Internet access”

    “Clear River Internet access”

    “The green internet access”

    “Harmonious surfing”



  9. Hate this too, very intrusive ads are everywhere on most Chinese commercial websites/software, thats why I refuse to use “Storm” media player (although apparently it plays every media filetype that exists) or YouTube wannabe sites like Youku (glad YouTube isn’t blocked where I am).

  10. no ads on dongfangyouxian – tv cabel internet :D internet speed is slow tho its like when you play cs and connect shanghai server ping is around 60 or so

  11. @ecodelta:

    “What about using your favorite anti-GFW proxy/vpn/tunnrel strategy. It may also work against such tricks from China Telecom. … If it works, maybe an business oriented IT-man can implement it as pay service inside China.”

    Someone is already doing this business.

    See this:

    US$12.95 per month – not cheap! They should appreciate GFW if they can really earn big money on this.

  12. @Adam

    I was thinking of a service inside China. Within the boundaries of the GFW. Not really for censorship circumventing, but to get rid of local internet providers dirty tricks.

    Some of the advantages would be to comply still with CH internet ‘regulations’ (from the local ‘law’ point of view it should be safe) greater speed and probably cheaper price.

    Still heavy weights like China telecom & others, through the pull they have with gov officials, could make life not easy for such a provider, but it may introduce a competitive element in the market that could at least help to reduce the annoyance of their dirty tricks.

    On the other hand. I think that one of the obstacles to bring down internet censorship in China , besides socio-political reasons, is what to do with all the infrastructure, departments and people working for the GFW, specially in this time of crisis.

    Something that could help is to offer it internationally as a service. Internet access for schools/children, companies (some IP issues here) and public organizations that want to prevent access to problematic webpages to its users/workers: download sites, p&o&r&n material, phishing web sites and prevent intrusions software.

    The GFW department surely have the infrastructure, experience and personnel….

    The GFW(tm) as cloud service ;-)

    Of course, one of the business areas would also be to offer censorship services to other authoritarian (and maybe not so authoritarian…watch late UK and France regulations) regimes across the world.

    There is already a proxy service that provides the full GFW experience from outside China. If anyone just want to live the experience of surfing through an ‘Harmonized’ internet, just go there. :-)

  13. I don’t know how feasible this is, but it’d be interesting if “satellite broadband” technology (similar to satellite phones) could be used to get around the censorship in China. Seems to me that minimal infrastructure is required (so the government cannot easily block things) that you’d only need a satelite dish or something like that. The difficult part is how you can market this and I think private satellite dishes are still illegal?

  14. @ ecodelta

    There are already some other ISP’s in China, such as Netcom, Chinatietong, and some cable tv. I’m not optimistic about their future, as China Telecom is such a heavy weight. I think “Free from dirty tricks” can’t be an attractive selling point for those competitors. Dirty tricks like spammer – most Telecom consumers would just tolerate it rather than bothering to transfer to another ISP (I heard those competitors usually perform poorer than Telecom on technology aspect.) Dirty tricks like blocking unharmonious webpages – none competitor can survive this if only it’s in China. I guess low price could be their only strategy.

    You are so kind-hearted, worrying about future of GFW. Get reassured. GFW belongs to the public security department. We have millions of laid off workers, but none laid off policeman. Infrastructure? That’s just a few coins comparing with huge amount the officials have consumed on their feasts & travels. And most importantly, I don’t see any possibility to abort the GFW in foreseeable future. On the contrary, I think they are investing more men & money on this project, to cope with netizens which is growing on not only quantity, but also proxy skills.

    Something off the topic, but I think interesting:

    I recalled a news I read many years ago, saying someone is developing a new technology, which provides extremely broad band internet service through public electricity facilities. That means people can plug their computer wire onto the electricity receptacle then start surfing. No need for special internet infrastructure. What a great invention! I was just starting to use the dial-up narrowband service at that time, and wish this technology get popularized asap. But it’s like a pebble thrown into the sea. Now I realized it’s such a natural outcome. How can we expect the Telecom (or counterparts of other countries) to send some engineers to help developing that new project? We should just pray they don’t send an assassinator. And maybe there is already a technology that can turn seawater into petroleum, but it’s lying in a safe in the headquarters of ChinaPetro or OPEC.

  15. @one, I am not optimistic about “satellite broadband”. Even things like prostitution – something that not any other equipment is needed (no ADSL, no receiver), just a man (with money), and a woman (with body). If the government wants, they can crack it down.

    The issues is not the technology requirements, it is legal framework. The current system already effectively ban people to say the two number ending with 4 and starting with 6, why they cannot ban anything physical?

  16. @ one

    satellite broadband – Interesting idea! But:

    1. Price must be as high as satellite flies.

    2. My sister used to have a satellite dish (for TV), but was confiscated later. It’s illegal.

    3. Watch out for assassinator. (See my above post)

  17. Obviously the government just want to monopolise everything as far as possible. They put anti-competition laws in place a few years ago and use them as circumstances suit (to protect state monopolies and the so-called “ethnic brands”), just look at how they blocked Coca Cola from buying Huiyuan Juice few months ago.

    It’d be naive to believe these laws were introduced to ensure fair competition as I can’t see any attempt to break state-monopolies like those huge oil companies and banks that are the biggest on earth thanks to the state-subsidised monopolising power. Prices just go out of control and services remain bad.

    A friend of mine just came and visit me in London and she bought like 10 boxes of milk powder, which cost about ~70RMB each (900g), for her aunt’s new baby in China. She was telling me that milk powder like that cost like ~160RMB each (and it’s a Chinese brand, not anything imported) in her hometown. I think it’d be crazy if what she told me is true, the average income in her hometown might be a tenth of that in London but basic neccessities like baby milk powder costs twice as much as in London !

    So in China, the rich gets richer and the poor will just burn in hell forever. Everyone just use every possible means to get rich and become previleged and make sure themselves are not the ones who burn in hell.

    Let’s just hope the right technology will be available soon enough so that people can get out of all this advertising, censoring bullshit and start relying on offshore satellite broadband providers with just a small receiver that you can easily hide at home.

  18. @adam

    “You are so kind-hearted, worrying about future of GFW.”

    Yes, I am kind hearted ;-)

    “We have millions of laid off workers, but none laid off policeman”

    Maybe that is a secure job in authoritarian states, specially in time or crisis. That is something that job seekers and new graduates should consider when approaching the job market in CH.

    ” I don’t see any possibility to abort the GFW in foreseeable future.”

    So it seems to be. China is even becoming more and more isolated from the rest of the world. Twitter out, Facebook out, YouTube out, to name a few; and others get ON/OFF restrictions

    Not a good thing. They may hope the CH market if big enough so no need of external competitors. Not a good strategy. Isolation is dangerous, others can race technologically ahead before you notice what is really going on.

    Some never learn the lessons of history.

    “On the contrary, I think they are investing more men & money on this project, to cope with netizens which is growing on not only quantity, but also proxy skills.”

    Yes, that seems to be the case. Some glitches detected several months ago seem to be because a “software upgrade” in the system.

    ” which provides extremely broad band internet service through public electricity facilities.”

    I also followed that development. The problem is that the layout and devices along the electric network is far from standard, some of the installed equipment along the line may interfere with the signal.

    Although possible from a physics point of view it would require a significant investment to iron out all problems

    “can turn seawater into petroleum,”

    You can get Hydrogen from water. You get energy and possible source to manufacture hydrocarbons, but only feasible when nuclear fusion reactors become a reality.

    Let see what the guys at ITER ( can achieve this time ;-)

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