Tencent's WeChat has gotten very big in China (and pretty big outside China, too). But even a mighty social network is vulnerable to hardware problems, and that's exactly what struck the social app late yesterday afternoon. Many users discovered that at around 4:40 PM Beijing time, they could no longer send messages or group messages, and friend circles would not update.
Needless to say, users were not pleased, and there was some speculation that the outage was the result of China's telecoms exacting revenge on WeChat in the ongoing kerfuffle over whether or not WeChat should have to pay for its access to China's telecom networks. But with a few hours, Tencent responded with a post on WeChat's official weibo account, saying that the outage was actually the result of a hardware malfunction, but that the result had already been corrected. The issue, according to the weibo post, affected only "a minority" of WeChat users and lasted for just ten minutes.
Though it might not seem that way, this incident is probably a good sign for WeChat. Obviously no one likes service outages, but the fact that WeChat going down for just ten minutes resulted in so many users complaining and posting on Weibo about it is an indication that WeChat has already become a must-have service for many of its users. When your service goes down for ten minutes and that makes the front page of China's biggest tech news sites, you know you've clearly captured the hearts and minds (or at least the attention) of China's smartphone users and its tech industry.
(via Sina Tech)
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