Hi all! I’m an iNat user from China. I agree that the website is generally quite slow here, with the map unavailable and the pictures slow to load (occasionally the pictures would load quickly if I’m lucky), so using the website is quite difficult. However, I don’t have any issues with the app. The maps in the app are using 高德地图 (AutoNavi, a Chinese map service) so the maps are accessible (hopefully it is possible to integrate this into the website as well…a selfish feature request). The app is also much faster in submitting observations and viewing pictures (not much different from my experience using it in the US). Therefore, when I submit observations I usually do so through the app. The app is available on App Store here.
I think another reason for a low amount of Chinese observations on iNat is that nature-related activities started quite late here (I think the first official birding organization in China started in the late 90’s), and many people haven’t discovered this site. Most Chinese nature-enthusiasts are based on local forums or blogs, and I guess they are not very accustomed to a system like iNat where observations are organized systematically. Many users I see on these forums are curious people who are quite satisfied with knowing the Chinese common name of a beautiful or interesting organism that they see incidentally. During recent years there is a growth in the number of nature-enthusiasts in China (with myself a product of that growth, I think), and following that there is an increase in the number of iNat users I see here. I hope more Chinese observations can be added.
*Edit: Another problem might be that although the site has a Chinese translation, the translation is sometimes a bit weird (for example, “identifications” is translated to “personal identity” in the Chinese version). This might be a problem for users who can’t understand English, just like any other language issues discussed here.