BEIJING - Users of China's microblogging services are on edge after a series of glitches in the last two days disrupted their popular Twitter-like social-networking tools.
On Wednesday, NetEase.com's microblog (http://t.163.com) was inaccessible. A notice said the site had been closed since 7 pm on Tuesday and was under maintenance.
Sohu.com's microblog (http://t.sohu.com) was also suspended for several hours during the weekend and almost all Chinese microblog sites have been displaying a "testing mode" notice since Monday.
In response to the concerns and worries of users, the websites explained that they have always been using a test version rather than a final one.
A spokesman surnamed Mao from sina.com, China's biggest online portal, told China Daily that their service has been using a test version since the beginning of August.
He delinced to make any further comment.
NetEase said the suspension of the service is due to the upgrading of features.
"NetEase's microblog is very popular and growing quickly, so we have to perform maintenance to upgrade features," NetEase spokesman Liu Youcai told Reuters.
An employee from the public relations department of qq.com, Liu Shihui, said the "beta" logo had been on the front page of t.qq.com since April 1 when they issued their test edition to the public.
However, users are still worried whether the service would be affected.
"I started to copy all my entries from my microblog on sina.com to my own computer in case anything got lost or access was denied in the future," said Li Yong, an employee of a Beijing IT company.
On sina.com, microbloggers were also in heated debate on Wednesday about whether such services would be suspended in China.
However, Liu Qi, vice-general manager of Sina's marketing department, said it is unnecessary for users to worry that the microblogging service will be shut down.
He said the number of users of Sina's microblogging service reached 5 million by the end of last year and the figure has been "doubling" every quarter so far this year.