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By Ding Yi / Feb 18, 2020 01:37 PM / Society & Culture

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Alibaba-owned payment platform Alipay will launch a national health code system this week to assess people’s physical status amid government calls for tech firms to contribute to the battle against the Covid-19 epidemic in China, the company said in a WeChat post.

The system was initially rolled out last week in Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, where residents are now asked to fill out an online form reporting their ID number, travel history and various health conditions before getting a color-based code.

People with a red code are subject to a 14-day quarantine and should provide regular check-in via DingTalk, a workplace chat app also developed by Alibaba, while those with a yellow code are quarantined for a week. A green code means people can move freely around the city.

Currently, Hangzhou residents need to have their health status scanned via a QR code when entering public places including residential communities, office buildings, supermarkets and travel checkpoints. As of Monday, Hangzhou has issued more than 7.25 million health codes including 6.7 million green codes.

Tencent has also developed a similar QR code tracking platform, which the tech giant said is currently being used in the southern city of Shenzhen and will soon be deployed in more cities in Guangdong province.

During a press conference last week, Chen Yueliang, an official with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, encouraged Chinese tech giants including Alibaba and Tencent to develop software to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus within residential communities.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

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