Right after posting about Mobile Suica, Japanese twitter users started complaining that Mobile Suica and Suica Apple Pay charging stopped working starting around 12:30 pm. Android Mobile Suica users are also affected so this appears to be a JR East cloud outage affecting Apple Pay Suica service. Suica transit works fine and you can still charge your Suica device with good old cash at a station kiosk or the nearest convenience store. However you cannot add a Suica card to Apple Pay and the Suica app doesn’t work.
The last time a major Suica service outage occurred was the Suica Apple Pay launch last October.
This glitch could be another sign that JR East is making big changes to their Suica cloud system in preparation for transit card interoperability and a lot more.
I’ll post any updates here.
Update 16:30: Apple Pay iCloud status is showing yellow with a start time of 12:30 pm Tokyo time.
Update 17:30: JR Central announced more details today for the SmartEX/Suica interoperability launch date now set for September 30.
No coincidence. Something is up for an Apple announcement.
Update 18:00: Apple iCloud Status page lists all services restored now. If you tried to charge Suica Apple Pay during the service interruption you may need to reset Suica charging via the Suica app. Touch the red exclamation point (screenshot below) and follow instructions. You can also use Suica Apple Pay Help Mode.
Update 20:00: Sankei New reports that a major internet outage hit Japanese backbone infrastructure companies NTT Communications and KDDI, and services such as Line at the same time Suica was out. The Japanese government is investigating which is usually code word for cyberterrorist attack.