Thursday, May 18, 2023
HomeArtificial IntelligenceInside Tencent’s weirdly secretive customer support heart

Inside Tencent’s weirdly secretive customer support heart

One in all my stops in China was Shenzhen, the southern metropolis that’s house to many Chinese language tech corporations, like Tencent, Huawei, and DJI. I had a number of causes to go to Shenzhen, however there was one which made me nervous: I needed to go to Tencent’s mysterious customer support heart to get my 15-year-old social media account again.

Should you didn’t know, the primary software program that launched Tencent’s empire was QQ, the go-to instantaneous messaging platform in China in the course of the desktop web period. From there, Tencent grew into a strong conglomerate providing blogs, electronic mail providers, music and video streaming, gaming, and finally WeChat. For a very long time earlier than WeChat’s success, a QQ account was basically a digital identification—folks used it to attach with one another and entry every kind of Tencent providers. 

I’ve private archives—together with diary entries, chat histories, {and professional} emails—in QQ that span greater than a decade. However I haven’t been in a position to entry them since November 2021, when my account was instantly suspended. Within the months earlier than that, I had used it to report on a narrative about QQ’s censorship of LGBTQ content material and to attach with sources for different tales I used to be engaged on. Nevertheless it wasn’t clear whether or not that exercise resulted within the suspension. 

I attempted to get better my account, however I hit a wall as a result of it was registered with my childhood cell quantity, which had lengthy been deactivated. I mainly gave up on it—till I discovered concerning the customer support heart in Shenzhen.

Coping with customer support can at all times be irritating: lengthy wait instances, boilerplate responses, and unhelpful representatives are the norm. Tencent gives a bodily heart as a final resort. If you’re keen to journey to Shenzhen, you may meet with a consultant in individual to make your case. 

In January, a 16-year-old Chinese language teen went viral after he traveled over 800 miles by himself to the Tencent customer support heart. Like me, he’d had his QQ account suspended. After months of communications with Tencent and formal complaints that went nowhere, he lastly obtained his account again because of his go to.

I arrived on the customer support heart on a moist April day. The middle is on the primary flooring of an workplace constructing unrelated to Tencent, but only some miles away from the corporate headquarters. It felt weirdly secretive: there was no signal on the outside signifying what it was. A safety guard stood outdoors the door and was desperate to query all passersby about why they have been there. 

After I walked into the reception room, six folks have been within the line in entrance of me. We have been directed to undergo a safety detector and retailer all our baggage and drinks. No recording, images, or loud conversations are allowed on this heart, the indicators on the wall mentioned. I attempted to document audio however was quickly observed by one of many three safety guards there. “Sir, you can’t document right here,” he mentioned, earlier than watching me delete the recording.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments