(Yicai Global) Feb. 11 -- Chinese tech giants Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holding and Baidu have released publicly available software programs for epidemic control and prevention that China hopes will be more effective in the fight against the new coronavirus than a CNY1 billion (USD143.4 million) donation.
"Technological support is very important," Chen Yueliang, head of the community governance division at the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said yesterday. A beneficial public welfare software tool is more useful than donating CNY1 billion, he added.
Tencent's smart community platform Haina introduced a digital pass function on Feb. 8, the Shenzhen-based firm said. It monitors people entering and leaving residential areas with touchless technology and processes the information remotely. It can record body temperatures, identify high-risk individuals, report the health status of the entire community to higher officials and contribute to the multi-level scrutiny of epidemic data by officials.
As of yesterday, over 2,000 residential communities across China were using Haina's epidemic prevention and control function. Property management firms sent 4,800 push notifications relating to the coronavirus outbreak over the past two weeks to around 5.4 million community residents.
Not to be outdone, Hangzhou-based Alibaba has set up a free smart mini-program available through its cloud services arm AliCloud, third-party payment platform AliPay and remote office software DingTalk. The software helps frontline staff in residential areas complete entry and exit registration of individuals, fill out daily health records and send notifications about the epidemic, the Hangzhou-based firm said.
Alipay has also launched a platform using parent firm Ant Financial Services Group's blockchain technology that traces the supply chain of medical supplies, ensuring transparency and efficient distribution of these urgently needed goods.
Beijing-based Baidu has developed four proprietary mini-programs available in its Baidu and Baidu Map apps that focus on city services, medical and health centers, 24-hour epidemic live and public welfare. They provide real-time updates on the course of the epidemic, inform the public where in a city there have been confirmed cases of the disease, which places are open for business and which medical and health centers are available near them.
Since the epidemic broke out, Tencent has set up a CNY1.5 billion (USD215.2 million) coronavirus insurance fund, Alibaba has established a CNY1 billion kitty for medical supplies while Baidu has provided CNY300 million (USD43 million) for public health safety.
Editor: Kim Taylor