Service disruptions to voice calls for Chinese users

We've recently become aware of enhanced spam monitoring and regulations for voice communications in China that will lead to blocked or undeliverable voice notifications. 

Update: February 9, 2024

We are continuing to work through legal, financial, and contractual requirements and we apologize for the unforeseen delay. We will implement the solution as soon as we are able.

 

Update: January 26, 2024

We have completed the required technical and architecture updates and are working through the last of the legal and financial commitments. We anticipate being able to implement a solution to this issue within the next week.

 

Update: December 21, 2023

We are finalizing the technical solution we identified in October and working through the last of the product and architecture updates required. With the current code freezes in place until the end of the year and a reduced availability of some resources over the upcoming holiday season, our new expected implementation date is early in 2024.

 

Update: October 27, 2023

We have identified a solution to this issue that will involve using one of the main Chinese carriers to more directly deliver voice calls to China. We have made significant progress in proving out the technical solution, and are moving ahead with the necessary product updates to adopt this approach. Given our current progress and planning, we expect to have a solution before the end of 2023.

 

Original article follows:

Minimum average call length

Our Support teams were recently informed by one of our communications providers that calls to China were at risk of being blocked due to too many short or unanswered calls.

China has regulations in place that prohibit any company from attempting to connect a high volume of voice calls that are on average less than three minutes long (based on our provider's interpretation of the regulations). Although this is intended to curb over-zealous telemarketers and spam callers, we are committed to our continued compliance with all local laws and regulations and must conform to these limitations. We are seeking a resolution or exemption based on the fact that calls from xMatters are used for critical events and are not marketing related, but this may take some time to be resolved.

As of 5PM Pacific, July 10, 2023, calls on some carriers will be blocked for xMatters. It may be only a matter of time before the same restrictions are implemented across all possible carriers to China and sending voice notifications to Chinese users may become unreliable. 

Recommended mitigation tactics

The easiest way to avoid any possible disruptions in service is to implement alternate notification delivery methods. This would mean having users prioritize email, SMS, and other non-voice device types. iOS users may also be able to receive push notifications via the xMatters app, available in the Apple Store. We've already reached out to customers with a large number of users in China and will work directly with customers with any issues that arise.

We also continue to search for a longer-term or permanent solution that will allow us to send any required volume of voice notifications into China, including alternate carriers and a possible exemption due to the transactional nature of xMatters notifications. We'll update this article with our progress.

 

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to Support directly.

 

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  • UPDATE: As of July 26, 2023, we are unable to deliver voice calls to China due to providers blocking traffic from multiple sources. We continue to look for a resolution to this issue and are working closely with our suppliers but we cannot provide an estimate of when a solution will be available. 

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  • UPDATE: We have identified a potential solution to this issue as detailed above. We expect to be able to implement the solution before the end of the year. 

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  • UPDATE: We are working through the last of the updates required for the solution we identified in October — our new expected implementation timeframe is early in 2024.

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  • UPDATE: We are finalizing the last of the legal and financial commitments and expect to implement the solution within the next few days.

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  • UPDATE: We are continuing to work through the contractual obligations and commitments and will implement the solution as soon as we are able.

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