Alipay, WeChat Denies Helping Government to Identify Data of Users Who Visted Xinfadi Market

June 17, 2020 0:15 am

Beijing (PingWest)- Chinese digital payment app Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat pay have both denied rumors circulating online that they had helped the government to collect the user data of 350,000 people who had visited Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale food market, the center of the latest coronavirus outbreak in the country.

According to a screenshot posted on microblogging site Weibo, Alipay and WeChat quickly traced and detected 350,000 people who had recently visited Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale market.  

““There have been no cash transactions at the market since the start of the epidemic, so Alipay and WeChat were able to easily confirm the people affected, who are all being screened for the virus now,” the rumored screenshots indicated.

In nearly identical statements on microblogging site Weibo, both Alipay and WeChat pay said it has never provided the data mentioned in the screenshots that was posted on Weibo, and asked not to share and believe rumors as well as to check the official information channel of the health and epidemic prevention authorities.

The emergence of new Coronavirus cases with unknown origin has been found in Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale food market, which shocked Chinese citizens and authorities as the confirmed cases in China had dropped to almost zero. As the new cases emerged, Beijing authorities have immediately close Xinfadi, other wholesale market and schools nearby.  

On Sunday, healthcare authorities collected samples from 76,499 people, with 59 returning positive results for COVID-19. On Monday, Chinese healthcare officials reported 49 new cases, including 36 more in Beijing.

Alipay and WeChat pay has helped government to contain the spread of coronavirus by issuing a nationwide QR codes.  

Health-rating QR code has been deployed in more than 100 cities across China since Hangzhou has started the first trail in February 11th.

Users are instructed to fill out an online questionnaire that contain personal ID number, recent travel history, and a list of any possible coronavirus-related symptoms. After completing the questionnaire, users receive a color-based QR-code on their mobile phones indicating their health status.

The resulting QR-codes determine whether citizens are allowed to move freely or is instructed to remain quarantine.

Users with a green code can travel freely, users with a yellow code are instructed to stay indoors for seven days, those with red codes are required to remain in quarantine for 14 days.

The health-rating system has been widely used by train stations or highways for travel checkpoint, by street community and neighborhood centers for visitor management.