Social Media Responses to 4G Services Coming to Lhasa

Artwork by Tibetan artist Gade

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a few responses by Tibetans on social media platforms to the arrival of functioning 4G in Lhasa at the end of last year.

The arrival of 4G services on December 12, 2017, coincided with the Buddhist festival of Ganden Ngamchoe commemorating Tsongkhapa’s enlightenment and celebrated with lots of butter lamps. Even though 4G services have “officially” been in Tibet since 2013, it seems like it started working for all mobile users on that day. High Peaks Pure Earth was unable to find any official announcements from any of the Telecoms company specifically about it.

Tibetan writer and poet Woeser posted on her social media channels:

 

I heard that yesterday, 4G services were launched in Tibet. Lhasa, “China’s happiest city,” brimmed over with happiness, shed tears of joy, the news spread quickly, no one in the world could stop it. [Image shows a work by Tibetan artist Gade]

This social media user below connected the arrival of 4G to the festival in this series of photos:

December 12: Ganden Ngamchoe, Lhasa is brightly lit.
December 13: Midnight, Lhasa launches 4G.

This social media user couldn’t resist cracking a little joke about being “grateful” to the CCP for the 4G:

Ganden Ngamchoe was just over when 4G was launched, many thanks to the Party and our leaders for remembering us 😬

This Weibo user writes:

Spread the news: Lhasa has 4G😭
Commemorating: Ganden Ngamchoe – Lhasa launches 4G

This Weibo user recalls Lhasa’s 2G network and even slower mobile internet outside of Lhasa, in Ngari:

I heard that Lhasa launched 4G today
People are updating their WeChat “Moments”
I remember using the head-achingly slow 2G for the past years
Or the G that is not even G in Ngari
Now it seems so ridiculous, so strange🤦🤦

Replies:

  • What the hell is G that is not even G? 😂😂
    – It means that there was no signal using China Mobile, one could only use China Telecom.
    – China Telecom covered the whole world.🤦🤦
  • It’s still like that in Xinjiang. 3G is slow beyond imagination…🤦

This Weibo user makes a point that at the time when the rest of the PRC is getting 5G, Lhasa is only just catching up with 4G:

While 5G spreads across the whole country, in Tibet and Lhasa, China Mobile and Unicom finally launch a 4G service. 😂😂😂

Tibet’s 4G here you finally are!🙏🙏🙏

Finally, a sobering response to Woeser’s tweet:

Kardze already got it last year, two years ago when the internet was cut off, someone at the China Mobile office told me that there would be 4G by the next year. I said 4G is no damn good, when you say cut the internet, it gets cut, with no internet for a month, even having 10,000G is useless!