Beijing's trainware busted by bustling commuter bunches

Scale FAIL at the ticket barrier leads to source code re-write

Air pollution in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, in October 2013

The German manufacturer of Beijing subway’s ticket barriers has been forced to fly out engineers to the Chinese capital to deal with problems caused by impatient commuters.

An unnamed manager with the firm told the South China Morning Post that while European commuters wait for the person in front to pass through before inserting their ticket, Beijingers often try and jam it in before the gate has even opened for their predecessor.

"Our technical experts were puzzled why the machines, which have worked perfectly in Europe for years, failed in China all the time," he added. "They were shocked by what they found.”

Although the article in question confusingly refers to the machines as “fare-collection equipment”, tickets are actually bought at separate machines and simply swiped NFC style on the way into the subway system.

It is at the end of the journey, when they have to be inserted into the machine, where the problems occur.

The manufacturer has apparently been forced not only to rewrite the system’s software code to take account of the frenetic pace of Beijing rush hour, but to also redesign various parts to cope with the extra stresses placed upon them.

The SCMP also claimed that foreign-made street sweepers are not up to the task of tackling the sheer volume of rubbish choking the thoroughfares of Chinese cities.

In addition, it said foreign-built waste processing plants have been unable to cope with Chinese water, because it’s so chock full of pollutants. ®

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