We're pleased to announce that Ensembl now has a mirror at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen (BGI-SZ). The mirror can be found at http://ensembl.genomics.org.cn/
Most of the functionality of the main Ensembl site is mirrored, however we're still working with our colleagues at the BGI to provide the rest, for example BioMart.
Due to a combination of the volume of data comprising a single Ensembl release (the MySQL data and index files for release 48 take up apround 600Gb, and that's without counting all f the flat-file dumps) and the very slow Internet connection between the UK and China, the we're using a "sneakernet" solution - i.e. dumping the data onto a hard drive and shipping it to China. This has proved to be an interesting challenge but it's working out pretty well so far.
We hope that this mirror will make life easier for our users in and around China. We're actively trying to set up mirrors elsewhere around the world to reduce network delays and improve peoples' Ensembl experience; we'll post here as soon as any new mirrors come online.
I would like to thank our colleagues at the BGI-SZ, particularly Lin Fang, for setting this mirror up.