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Monopoly to Blame for Online Rail Ticketing Debacle

Despite some notable improvements, the flaws of the new system were brought to light at the start of the travel season. In early January, China’s only official railway ticketing website 12306.cn was overwhelmed with the pressure of more than 1 billion daily visits. The frequent downtime and unresponsiveness of the site caused a flood of complaints from users. The MOR's explanation was insufficient bandwidth and inadequate advance estimates.

Zhang Haijun, CEO of Kuxun.cn, told Caijing that in the future 12306.cn will be spun off by the MOR. Its operations will be corporatized, creating what is in essence a nationwide monopoly in the online railway ticketing market by a "big state-owned enterprise." It may also follow the example of TravelSky and focus on operating a background inventory system which offers real-time query port resources to other e-commerce websites, said Zhang.

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