Access to Chinese online video provider 56.com has been suspended since 18:00 on June 3, but the company has denied this has something to do with a rumored shutdown by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. Instead the company attributes the suspension to a server malfunction.
56.com made an explanation at 10:00 today, 16 hours after the website's access was stopped, and said that the website had experienced a server failure and was being repaired, but it did not give a clear time for when the site's services would be fully resumed.
Some media, such as Hexun.com and Sina.com, reported that as 56.com has frequently violated relevant government rules with its video content, it has therefore been issued a warning by the government and may be closed for a few days. However, this has been denied by 56.com.
In March 2008, rival Chinese online video provider Tudou.com was shuttered for one day during which time the company explained it was relocating its servers. But later reports showed that the shutdown was a punishment from SARFT, and thereby shattered Tudou's credibility. 56.com said at that time that their traffic increased as a result of the 24-hour shutdown of Tudou.com. It's unclear now how much of an increase Tudou.com will see in traffic because of 56.com's outage.
So far, 56.com has not made an estimation on the loss caused by this supposed server malunction, nor has it disclosed when the server will resume working again. If indeed the stoppage is because of a server malfunction, it does not speak highly of 56.com's technology prowess or its ability to scale to greater heights.