As schools across the nation close down to curb the spread of Covid-19, teachers and students are embracing online classes
(including virtual PE lessons
). When the spring semester kicked off last week, more than a million students and parents tuned in from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, state-run media Xinhua reported
. Xuexitong said
at 8am on Monday, more than 12 million users logged onto its platform all at the same time, overwhelming its servers. The service has since returned.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, China’s 845 million internet users -- more than six times the population of Japan -- already spent an average of four hours a day online
. But the current situation is pushing people to move more of their offline work into cyberspace, piling pressure on the country’s servers and challenging even the most experienced service providers.
On the first day of work following the extended Lunar New Year holiday, popular office apps went down
as tens of millions of employees tried to start the day with virtual morning meetings. A spike in demand for video conferencing at 9am disrupted DingTalk, according to a statement on DingTalk’s Weibo account. WeChat Work, an office version of Tencent’s all-purpose social app, also crashed temporarily.
Tencent also struggled at times to keep up with a deluge of gamers. Players found themselves unable to connect to some of the company’s hottest online games, including the Chinese versions of PUBG Mobile
and Arena of Valor
. The issues were eventually resolved, with Tencent promising to expand server capacity.
But it looks like some companies are learning from experience. With Xuexitong down, some students were hoping
that the app their teachers use -- DingTalk -- would also crash. To their dismay, DingTalk cheekily bragged on Weibo
, “Yes… not down orz…” (The word orz
is used to symbolize frustration because it resembles a person kneeling with their hands and knees on the ground.)
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