Chinese airports face massive delays - China’s latest top news - SupChina

Chinese airports face massive delays – China’s latest top news

Slow planes in China

If you’ve spent much time flying out of Chinese airports, it’s likely that you’ve experienced multiple delays and cancellations. It’s apparently getting worse: Caixin reports that China “has experienced 7,000 more flight delays per day than it did last year,” with the country’s on-time flight rate reaching “a three-year low this year of 71.8%, nearly 6 percentage points lower than the same period for 2016, according to the Civil Aviation Administration.”

Why so many delays?

  • The weather “has caused half of the total delays so far this year,” with torrential rains in southern China grounding “thousands” of flights.
  • Military exercises: Caixin says that “increased military activity has contributed to over a fourth of the delays and cancellations.”
  • Drones: “nearly 800 flights were affected by drones illicitly flying near airports.”
  • Weird stuff, or what Caixin politely calls “miscellaneous activities by passengers,” such as a family embarking without boarding passes for their child, or the well-meaning lady who threw coins into the jet engine for good luck.

VPN update: It’s serious

Evidence continues to accumulate that the authorities are serious this time about scrutinizing and controlling the virtual private networks (VPNs) used to get around Chinese internet censorship.

  • The still excellent China Law Translate has posted a translation of what seems to be a letter from a Chinese internet service provider, informing clients that “they will need to assist in cleaning up/blocking VPN access following an order from the Ministry of Public Security.”
  • The Associated Press has a story on the VPN clampdown, which summarizes the situation so far.
  • It’s still unclear if there will be any effect, aside from the usual periodic interference, on VPN providers based abroad that do not accept domestic Chinese forms of payment.
Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.