On March 29, in the early morning hours, Tencent‘s two social platforms – WeChat and QQ – experienced a crash. This affected multiple functions such as voice chat, payment, file transfer, and mailbox. Although the issue was resolved later that day and WeChat had previously experienced minor faults before this incident occurred, Tencent still issued severe punishment for it.
According to a report from Jiemian News, the incident was caused by a cooling system failure at Guangzhou Telecom data center. Tencent has classified it as a level-one incident. The management team of Tencent believes that this event exposed hidden dangers in disaster recovery design and emergency response plans, and revealed inadequate risk prevention awareness among relevant business departments. Consequently, many related leaders have been punished, including Lu Shan (Senior Executive Vice President of the company and President of Technology Engineering Group) and Harvey Zhou (Vice President of Weixin Group). It is noteworthy that Lu Shan currently serves as a member of Tencent‘s General Office – the highest decision-making body within the company.
Furthermore, the South China Data Center of Technology Engineering Group terminated two general managers and directors. Similarly, in the Weixin Group’s Technical Architecture Department, two directors and a team leader received an “underperform” rating during their performance evaluation period.
WeChat and QQ serve not only as social platforms for individual users but also cater to the needs of businesses. Any malfunction in these applications can draw significant attention. In an internal meeting, Tencent‘s former CTO Zhang Zhidong revealed that WeChat is the first application users access upon waking up in the morning. Therefore, any issues with login, group chat or payment functions could lead to frequent device restarts or cause panic among users.
Tencent‘s unaudited financial report for Q4 2022 reveals that the combined monthly active users of WeChat and Weixin have reached 1.313 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 3.5%. Additionally, QQ’s mobile terminal monthly active users have increased by 3.6% to reach 572 million compared to the previous year.
This severe punishment reflects Tencent‘s recent focus on security, particularly in its dealings with enterprises that prioritize stability and security.