Drip sorry: system failure caused millions of users to call a car blocked, the company promised full compensation
DDT suffered a system failure on the evening of Nov. 27, triggering a service crash for several hours and causing a large number of users and drivers to be unable to use the platform normally. This unexpected event quickly became a hot topic on that day, with many users reporting that they were unable to hail a ride, and drivers complaining that they were unable to take orders or that their navigation was abnormal.
DDT responded urgently that the system failure was the cause of the service abnormality, and said in the subsequent emergency repair process that it had been in the process of repairing one after another. However, it was not until 7:31 a.m. on Nov. 28 that DDT apologized again and announced that the technical team had repaired the problem overnight, and the online taxi service had returned to normal. Nonetheless, some passengers still encountered difficulties in hailing rides in the following morning.
In addition to the collapse of the App system, the DDT intranet also failed on the morning of the 28th. A senior technical person pointed out that since the App is only a user interface, but still needs to access the underlying data, the company should isolate between the various businesses. He believes that if all products crash, the problem may be deeper.
On the morning of November 29, DDT released a new letter of apology, initially determining that the cause of the failure was the failure of the underlying system software, rather than the previously rumored attack. The company said it will conduct in-depth investigation of technical risks and hazards and upgrades, comprehensively safeguard the stability of the service, and strive to avoid the recurrence of similar accidents.
At the same time, DDT released an apology statement on the app and promised to compensate all users with one 10 yuan taxi coupon. However, some users said on the afternoon of the 29th that the coupon loaded abnormally and could not be collected.
As of press time, most cities have resumed the function of DDT taxi, but some users still reflect that there is a crash in some functions of the platform, and the response time of hailing a taxi is slower than usual. Regarding the problem of driver cash withdrawal, DDT said that after verification of the driver account and cash withdrawal function is normal, drivers do not need to worry.
The system failure not only affected all of DDT’s product systems, but also caused the company’s internal network to fail on the morning of the 28th. During the outage, the billing system on the driver side of DDT was also confused for a while. Although there were reports that the backend revenue balance of a contracted driver showed 6.9 billion yuan, the figure was later confirmed to be false information.
DDT has not yet given specific figures for the number of orders lost and the number of users affected, but considering that the company’s total core platform transactions in the third quarter amounted to 91.5 billion yuan, an increase of 37 percent year-on-year, the amount of losses that may have resulted from this system failure cannot be ignored.
For the cause of the failure, DDT has not yet disclosed in detail. Industry insiders said that cloud servers, systems and interfaces may be faulty, but it is difficult to speculate on the exact cause due to the relatively stable overall performance of DDT. It is worth noting that the latest version of DDT’s iOS app was released five days ago, so it is not certain whether there is a problem with the new version of the app after running.
This is not the first time that DDT has experienced a large-scale system failure. On September 22, 2022, DDT had a network failure in the server room that caused some services to be affected; in April 2021, DDT had a system failure, which was officially said to be due to system upgrades; in October 2019, DDT’s navigation was faulty due to a system update; and on the day before the National Day of 2020, DDT’s taxi was caused by the peak of pre-holiday cars, resulting in network loading abnormalities.
In its financial report, DDT showed that its investment in research and development in the third quarter of this year was 2.1 billion yuan, indicating the company’s emphasis on technology. However, industry insiders point out that DDT still needs to improve its guarantee of system stability to reduce the losses caused by technical failures.
In the face of frequent technical failures, Internet analyst Ding Daoshi pointed out that mainstream Internet companies have experienced various forms of technical failures in the past few years. He listed several possibilities that could have led to this downtime of DDT, including edge-end failures, human management loopholes, associated system failures and hacker attacks.
In terms of cybersecurity, he mentioned that it should be viewed as an ongoing process rather than a one-time task. To guard against possible future technical failures, he recommended regular security training, timely updating of software and systems, security audits and risk assessments, and enhanced redundancy settings. He also emphasized that large companies like DDT should ensure proper handling of user losses in the face of system failures in order to protect consumers’ rights and interests.