Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Alibaba's Alipay Partners with Chinese Government to Assign Coronavirus Status to Citizens

By Robert Izquierdo - Mar 2, 2020 at 4:28PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Alipay, the popular payment app, is being used to track Chinese citizens and determine if someone is a Coronavirus health risk.

In an attempt to reign in the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has partnered with Alibaba's (BABA 0.94%) sister company, Ant Financial, to create a color-coded health rating system that tracks millions of Chinese citizens. The system automatically assigns each person a green, yellow, or red rating indicating health status.

Doctor holding up an x-ray of lungs.

Image Source: Getty Images.

About the Coronavirus app

Citizens sign up through Ant's popular Alipay payments app on their mobile phones. China's official news media calls the system the Alipay Health Code. It allows anyone with a green status to be in public, using a QR code on the Alipay app to check in at public locations such as subways and office buildings. Those with a yellow status may be asked to stay home for seven days, and anyone with a red status is required to undergo a two-week quarantine.

Currently, the system is used in 200 cities throughout China, and is being rolled out nationwide. The system leverages big data to automatically assign a rating. An official Alipay Health Code website states the rating is based on factors such as travel to a virus hot zone. While Ant and the Chinese government declined to provide details on how Alipay Health Code works, the New York Times investigated the app and discovered it shares data about individuals with law enforcement.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Alibaba Group Holding Limited Stock Quote
Alibaba Group Holding Limited
$118.73 (0.94%) $1.11

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/27/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.