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8 October, 2019
News and research on financial software quality assurance and risk management

Hong Kong Stock Exchange hit by software issues

6 September 2019
Chief Executive Charles Li told reporters the outage was not due to human error

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) halted trading on its futures and derivatives platform on September 5th due to what the exchange described as “software issues”. 

HKEX’s trading system suffered prolonged connectivity issues, leaving traders unable to make orders and causing a suspension of trading at 2.00pm local time.  

In a statement released after trading resumed, the company said: “HKEX confirms that the software issues in the vendor-supplied trading system that caused the market outage yesterday have now been isolated. HKEX will update the market again once a full and detailed analysis of the incident and the vendor software issue has been completed.” 

Chief Executive Charles Li told reporters the following day that HKEX had fixed the systems issue by reverting to an earlier version of its software. The company plans to run tests of the new software over the weekend. 

“At the end of the day, we are reviewing everything we have done and hopefully we can minimise the opportunity and chance for this to ever happen again,” Li said. “But otherwise, I think people should have no reason the question the integrity of our market.” 

HKEX’s website apparently suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the same day, but Li claimed this was unrelated to the software issue. 

It’s not the first time the exchange has suffered attacks of this nature. According to the Financial Times, HKEX was forced to suspend trading of seven stocks in 2011 after a similar DDoS incident caused its website to crash.

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