China’s technology titans are deploying health-rating systems to help authorities track the movement of millions of Chinese who are preparing to resume work at factories and other businesses, adding a new tool in the country’s battle to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, reported the Wall Street Journal.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported this week that the country’s cabinet, the State Council, had instructed Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial Services Group to explore the nationwide rollout of a rating app to help governments control which people can travel into and around the city during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Alibaba and Ant Financial worked with the government of Hangzhou to develop a smartphone-based system to classify people into three categories of exposure to the outbreak—green, yellow or red—based on their health conditions and travel history. Gaming and social-media behemoth Tencent Holdings created a similar program for the southern city of Shenzhen.
In Hangzhou, users are prompted to enter their personal information and current location when first registering. They then self-report their physical condition—choosing from a list of options such as a dry cough, fever or asymptomatic—and are asked if they have traveled in the last 14 days or come into contact with suspected or confirmed coronavirus cases in the same period.