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China - Six bugs reported by 1/3/00


China says it has only experienced minor glitches as it passed into the new century, but officials in charge of Beijing's Year 2000 task force are warning against complacency. VOA correspondent Roger Wilkison reports, China's stock and futures markets remained closed Monday to allow for further Y2K checks, but the foreign currency exchange in Shanghai opened for trading and reported no computer problems.

TEXT: The Chinese government's Y2K information center was quoted by the English-language China Daily Monday as saying only a handful of minor computer bugs have appeared since the beginning of the year.

Taxi meters in eastern Jiangsu province stopped working once the new year arrived. The National Meteorological Administration reported problems in its computerized monitoring system, but says measurements are being made manually. And the central bank says there were some disruptions in remote Qinghai province, involving the internal interbank electronic mail system, but that officials are using telephones to communicate until the system is repaired.

One newspaper, the Beijing Youth Daily, reported that some automatic teller machines in the southern city of Guangzhou failed to dispense cash and that some bank computers are still dating documents with the year 1900 instead of 2000.

One unexpected victim was the U-S Embassy in Beijing, whose website was attacked by hackers. A spokesman said precautions taken to avoid the Y2K bug failed to deter the hackers, who defaced the site with two cryptic messages. The Embassy says it is shutting down the website until the problem is fixed.

The Y2K information center says that, so far, the areas the government has identified as high priorities --sectors ranging from nuclear and electric power to telecommunications -- have made the changeover without any trouble, but it urged Chinese to be on the lookout for problems, saying the bug might appear any day between now and March 1st. Some experts fear that February 29th -- which comes every four years -- might trigger Y2K-related problems.

China focused its belated Y2K preparations on key government services and industries and has acknowledged that troubles are likely to crop up among businesses and local services in more remote parts of the country. But it is precisely in those areas where computers are still a novelty and any disruption is not expected to have widespread effects. Experts also say that most of China's computers were bought after 1995 and should have come Y2K-ready.



03-Jan-2000 03:53 AM EDT (03-Jan-2000 0853 UTC) NNNN

Source: Voice of America


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-- Lee Maloney (, January 29, 2000

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