ECS: crisis management and governance issues

International affairs, Public policy, Communications & Project Management issues from an innovative perspective

The Alipay corporation managed by Ant Financial, a finance affiliate owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat are credited by the Chinese Government with helping curb COVID-19 since it popped out in Wuhan —ground zero province of coronavirus pandemic- initially in January 2020. Due to the fact that Alipay has become a leading payment channel within the e-commerce framework, it has already tracked the consumer activity of hundreds of millions of users in a country with over 1355 million people as the demography rate.

Author: Christopher Óscar de Andrés.

TechNode Health rating system deployed in over 100 cities across China. Source: Alipay, TechNode
TechNode Health rating system deployed in over 100 cities across China. Source: Alipay, TechNode
During the outbreak, the Alibaba Group released a QR code system which can be read by smartphones and determine which individuals could generate health risks and need to be quarantined or, on the opposite, could be allowed to use public spaces / transportation. Now this technology is proving instrumental in policing the country as it tries to get back on its feet.

Ant’s QR-based Health Code System assigns each user one of three colors —green, yellow or red— based on their location, basic health information and travel history. Green allows freedom of movement, while yellow and red indicate that a specific citizen needs to self-quarantine or enter a supervised quarantine facility, respectively. The colored QR code, which is already deployed in over 200 cities, is obtained by entering information including name, national identity number, current location, recent travel history and ticking a box asking if the person has been in contact with a Covid-19 outpatient or anyone hospitalized in the last 14 days. Once the online survey is filled out, a code is automatically generated. Moreover, each code is refreshed at midnight.

Cafes, restaurants and shopping malls throughout China are requesting to confirm the green QR code before granting permission to enter. Since these health codes were first rolled out by Alipay on Feb. 11th 2020 in Hangzhou, adoption by merchants and businesses has been swift across the country with a practical plan for wider deployment, according to Ant Financial.

Could this online application be effective while implemented by health systems across Europe as an effective tool to prevent the invasive COVID-19 crisis and combat further spread-out?

Posted by Christopher Óscar de Andrés, on Tuesday, March 24th 2020 at 08:20 | Comments (0)