In its latest dystopian stab at curbing the spread of COVID-19, the Chinese government has employed two of the biggest tech giants in Asia to help it roll out a nationwide color-based tracking system to keep tabs on those suffering from Coronavirus symptoms, according to a new report. From a report: Companies enlisted for this real-life sci-fi movie endeavor to contain COVID-19 -- the World Health Organization's name for the deadly coronavirus behind this global health emergency -- include Alibaba Group Holdings, Asia's largest digital advertising, e-commerce, and cloud platform as well as Tencent Holdings, one of the world's largest video game companies and the force behind the popular messaging app WeChat. As part of a collaboration with Beijing, Alipay, a payment app operated by Alibaba's subsidiary Ant Financial, recently released a new feature that sends a color-based QR code to individuals via smartphone based on their answers to an online health survey. Depending on what symptoms they've been experiencing or whether they've traveled recently, they're assigned one of three colors that's tied to their ID number. Green means the user can travel freely; yellow prompts instructions for the user to remain quarantined for seven days; and red -- used in the most severe cases -- carries a 14-day quarantine period and instructs users to regularly check-in via an Alibaba chat app.
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