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Top Tech Guns Add Their Efforts to Epidemic Control
Internet companies are donating money, equipment and technology to help battle the novel coronavirus
By Li Fangfang  ·  2020-02-01  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

Employees at Qi An Xin's Beijing base pack cyber security equipment for Wuhan of Hubei Province(COURTESY PHOTO)

Seventy two hours before the Huoshenshan Hospital opens on February 3, the Qi An Xin Group, a leading Internet security provider, sent security hardware to the hospital in Wuhan in central China established on an emergency basis to treat novel coronavirus patients to ensure its smooth operation.

The firm was quick to swing into action on January 25, forming a supporting team with employees from Beijing and Wuhan to provide services worth 50 million yuan ($7 million) to more than 100 hospitals and disease control organizations. Wei Yulu, Assistant President of the group, said the services entail data analysis and security support. 

Since the viral outbreak, at least 60 tech companies have rushed to provide technological support in various forms, with BAT—the premier Internet technology companies Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent—leading the list, according to data by news portal iFeng.com.  

While Alibaba has earmarked 1 billion yuan ($144 million) to be exclusively used to purchase medical materials for hospitals in need, its cloud computing arm Alibaba Cloud announced on January 29 that it will make all its artificial intelligence (AI) computing capabilities available for free to help scientific research for new medicines and vaccines. 

Baidu has made its computing and its software for RNA structure prediction available to gene test organizations and scientific research institutions all over the world, in addition to the financial support it has pledged. 

Tencent's charity foundation has announced a donation of 300 million yuan ($43.26 million) to establish the first phase of a pneumonia prevention and control fund.  

Besides, Huawei has donated 30 million yuan ($4 million) and is building 5G base stations in hospitals to boost their capabilities. Lenovo has provided all the IT hardware for the Huoshenshan Hospital. Fintech company LexinFintech has donated 15 million yuan ($2 million) in capital and is also working with Chunyu Yisheng, a mobile app that enables users to consult doctors remotely, to provide free services. 

Tech companies are also offering online classes for those staying at home either as a safety measure or as a self-imposed quarantine measure. NetEase is providing classes for primary-school students in Hubei, the province where Wuhan is located, while ByteDance is inviting physicians to talk about the virus-related topics and safety measures on its popular Internet platforms like Toutiao and TikTok. 

Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar

Comments to ffli@bjreview.com

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