Tencent Cloud customer complains of ‘catastrophic’ US$1.6 million data loss

Improper operations at Tencent Cloud, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China internet giant Tencent Holdings, led to a metadata loss for one enterprise customer, which said the missing information was worth tens of millions of yuan.

After a technical analysis, Tencent Cloud said in a statement on Tuesday that “improper operations” caused the metadata damage, specifically instances where employees broke operational rules concerning data relocation. Tencent Cloud announced a series of improvement measures in the statement, without offering the customer an immediate solution.

“We will try our best to settle the problem, at the same time we will optimise related mechanisms to avoid a recurrence of the situation in future,” said Tencent Cloud.

The issue became public when the client, Beijing Qingbo Data Control Technology, on Sunday posted a statement on Weibo, a Twitter-like social platform in China, saying that it had suffered a data loss on Tencent Cloud on July 20 after using the platform for eight months, and that all of the company’s data – including backup files – were lost and could not be recovered.

The company said Tencent Cloud’s proposed compensation of 136,469 yuan (US$20,000) was “infuriating”, as it suffered a “catastrophic” loss of data worth tens of million of yuan.

Alibaba brings cloud computing to reimagine Olympics for digital era

In its initial statement, Tencent Cloud said that the US$20,000 compensation it offered Beijing Qingbo was 37 times the user’s payment for services on its cloud platform, and that it could not accept Beijing Qingbo's request for compensation of 11 million yuan (US$1.6 million) for the loss of data.

Beijing Qingbo issued another statement on Monday, voicing its “serious frustration” with Tencent Cloud’s initial response to the incident. Tencent said it did not have any further comment beyond the statements released.

Launched in 2013, Tencent Cloud provides cloud server, cloud storage, database and other services to companies. The dispute with Beijing Qingbo comes after a Bloomberg report last week that Google is in talks with Tencent and other Chinese companies to offer its cloud services in China.

Baidu to use cloud computing, AI to ramp up behavioural analysis

Tencent Cloud reported a service breakdown in Guangzhou, capital city of the southern coastal province of Guangdong, on July 24 due to the suspension of a cable service by a telecoms carrier. Rival Alibaba Cloud, owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, also experienced a system failure in June because of a bug in code triggered by a systems update.

Alibaba Cloud leads the cloud services market in China, which is the second-largest in the world. In 2017, Alibaba Cloud owned a 45.5 per cent share of the China cloud market, compared with Tencent Cloud’s 10.3 per cent share, according to data from research firm IDC.

Alibaba is the parent company of the South China Morning Post.