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Some WeChat users in China said Thursday morning they had trouble using the app’s payment function. Photo: Reuters

WeChat suffers glitch that stopped users from paying for lunch deliveries before noon

  • Users have been flocking online to complain that the payment function of WeChat failed to respond
  • Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Ant Group’s Alipay have a combined market share of more than 90 per cent in China
Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay, one of China’s two biggest electronic payment services, experienced a glitch on Thursday morning that drew a wave of user complaints before the issue was resolved around noontime.

The WeChat team said via its official account on social media platform Weibo that its engineers have made urgent repairs and the payment service has fully recovered. It apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Internet users have been flocking to Weibo with reports that the payment function of WeChat had failed to respond, with some saying they had trouble paying for meals on the food delivery app Meituan, which showed a message asking customers to choose other payment methods due to a temporary problem with WeChat Pay.

But other users said the service worked normally for them.

Some WeChat users said they could not pay for lunch orders on Meituan, the on-demand delivery platform whose drivers wear yellow uniforms. Photo: Bloomberg

The glitch that affected WeChat – an ubiquitous app in China used by 1.288 billion monthly active users for messaging, reading the news, shopping, payments and more – pushed a related hashtag to the top of Weibo’s trending topic rankings on Thursday morning.

Tencent declined to comment on the scope of the disruption.

WeChat Pay and fintech giant Ant Group’s Alipay, which has 1.2 billion users worldwide, have a combined market share of more than 90 per cent in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Together, the two platforms process most online payments made in the country, which is increasingly moving towards becoming a cashless society.

Ant is an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Post.

WeChat is not the only widely used internet service that has been affected by technical difficulties recently.

Earlier this week, the cloud operations of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co crashed for 34 minutes, causing disruptions across a variety of services, including a popular stock trading app.