Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beijing Olympic ticket sales overload

Beijing's Olympic ticketing system collapsed yesterday with massive demand for tickets. It was the second round of ticket sales for the games, but the internet site received more than 200,000 applications per second and brought the website crashing down. The telephone booking centre fared little better and were jammed for hours. As a result, only 9,000 of the 1.8 million available tickets were sold. The Beijing Organizing Committee called for buyers to be patient. There is a strong suspicion that some of the hits on the website and even the telephone lines were malicious. China has been highly criticized by protest groups in recent weeks for China’s investment in Myanmar [Burma]. DoS, or denial of service attacks have long been a part of the arsenal of activists attempting to inhibit the action of organizations. If the website crashes and jammed phone-lines were part of a concerted attack by pro-Burma activists, China may have trouble selling the 7 million available tickets. Only 25% are available to overseas buyers with the bulk being made available to Chinese citizens. Overseas sales are due to start in April. Interestingly Xinhua, the state owned news agency, did not mention the problems in selling the tickets [BBC].

Official Beijing Olympic website in Chinese

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