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Alipay services hit by optical fiber glitch

China Daily | Updated: 2015-05-29 07:45

With a growing number of people linking their debit cards to smartphones, any failure in the optical fiber network can have serious ramifications.

Alipay, the most popular mobile payment service offered by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's financial affiliate, suffered a breakdown on Wednesday afternoon due to optical fiber problems.

Zhejiang Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co Ltd, owner of Alipay, said the breakdown was caused after a part of the optical fiber lines in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, where one of its major data centers is based, was cut.

At 5 pm on Wednesday, users in Beijing, Zhejiang and other cities reported problems in using Alipay. They could not log on to the platform.

Cheng Li, chief technology operator of Alipay, said after the incident the company had moved quickly to divert traffic to computer bases in other cities and the services had been restored in two hours.

Technology experts said the company is yet to fix the broken optical fiber link, but had been taking steps to minimize the fallout.

This is not the first time that Chinese Internet companies have suffered from optical fiber cable issues. In October, WeChat, the most popular instant messaging services offered by Tencent Holdings Ltd, also experienced similar problems. Some users were unable to access WeChat because of problems in its Shanghai-based computer center.

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