Tech giants deny rumor they helped detect 350,000 visiting a Beijing market

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/14 20:53:40

Photo provided by German department store retailer Breuninger shows a customer using Alibaba's Alipay at Breuninger store in Dusseldorf, Germany, June 29, 2018. Breuninger on Friday announced to introduce two Chinese mobile payment platforms -- Alibaba's Alipay and Tencent's Wechat Pay. (Photo:Xinhua)

Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent Sunday denied rumors that their mobile payment tools had been used to assist coronavirus screening by providing relevant data after the latest outbreak of COVID-19 at Beijing's Xinfadi wholesale market.

Online payment tool Alipay, which is owned by Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said Sunday that it did not provide data. 

"For epidemic information, please refer to the official release of the health and epidemic prevention department," it said.

And, Tencent's WeChat team said on Sunday that it did not provide any epidemic-related big data, either.

According to a screenshot from China's social network platform Weibo, Alipay and WeChat Pay, the two mostly used digital wallets in China, quickly detected 350,000 people who had recently visited Beijing's Xinfadi wholesale market.

A new spike in coronavirus cases emerged at the market, and it was shut down on Saturday to curb a wild spread of the COVID-19 in the capital city.

"There have been no cash transactions in the Xinfadi market since the outbreak of the epidemic and payment data held by Alipay and WeChat Pay could conveniently help locate relevant people," said the screenshot.

Alipay and WeChat Pay have "done meritorious service" to help find out those 350,000 people, all of whom will soon undergo virus screening, the screenshot added.

Beijing reported eight more cases related to the Xinfadi market by 7:00 pm on Sunday.


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