Chinese internet companies light a candle for global countries in fight against COVID-19

By Sun Yahui, People’s Daily Overseas Edition
While curbing COVID-19 and resuming production at home, Chinese internet companies have moved proactively to apply their technologies to help foreigners and overseas Chinese cope with the globally spreading pandemic, actively contributing Chinese strength to the global fight against the virus.
Recently, 500 respirators and a large quantity of other medical materials from China were distributed from Ethiopia to the frontline of more than 50 African countries.
The supplies marked the second batch of materials donated to Africa by China’s Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation. Besides respirators, the donation also consisted of one million sets of virus sampling machines and nucleic acid extraction reagents, 200,000 sets of protective suits and masks, 2,000 forehead thermometers and 500,000 pairs of gloves.
The two foundations have so far donated preventive materials to more than 100 countries in the world.
“Those having genuine friends will never fail,” President of Iceland Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson quoted a famous saying in his country in a thank-you email to Chinese internet giant Tencent.
The Chinese high-tech giant established a global pandemic fund worth more than $1 billion, and recently purchased 7.7 million pieces of medical materials and delivered them to more than 10 countries in urgent demand.
The technological advantages of Chinese internet companies also played an important role in the global anti-pandemic efforts.
China’s Baidu Research opened its RNA structure algorithm LinearFold and the fastest website in the world for RNA structure prediction to epidemic control centers and research institutions around the world, in an attempt to enhance the understanding of the virus and significantly reduce the waiting time.
Days ago, the United Nations (UN) and Tencent announced a global partnership for the organization’s 75th anniversary. Tencent will provide technical solutions to support online meetings for the UN. The global dialogue on the COVID-19 pandemic initiated by the UN will be held under the technical support of the Chinese internet company.
Relying on their technological reserve, the Chinese internet companies steadfastly promoted the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the global fight against the pandemic.
On March 28, Tencent launched an online global anti-pandemic information platform called “Together We Can”, starting to provide one-stop information services on pandemic prevention and control for global users.
The platform introduces medical knowledge, helps users screen themselves for COVID-19, offers medical advising, and provides open pandemic-related courses for doctors from China and around the world.
The Shenzhen-based enterprise also opened its COVID-19 self-triage assistant, an online tool backed by AI technology, to help people conduct a self-assessment about their health conditions by reporting their ages, symptoms, and 14-day travel history to the system. The tool also gives people medical advice.
Chinese tech giant Huawei has offered AI-enabled auxiliary diagnostic systems to Ecuador. Huawei Cloud, the cloud computing unit of the tech giant, also launched rapid diagnostic solutions to provide experience and technical support for dozens of countries in the world.
Alibaba Cloud of China’s internet titan Alibaba developed AI diagnostic technology for COVID-19, and has applied it in about 170 Chinese hospitals. The technology can analyze CT images of suspected COVID-19 patients within 20 seconds at an accuracy rate of 96 percent, effectively relieving the pressure on doctors.
Recently, Alibaba Cloud announced to share its AI-powered novel coronavirus disease diagnostic technology, free of charge, with hospitals worldwide. Medical institutions in multiple countries have expressed interest in using the technology.
The AI-powered technologies from China are making a positive contribution to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second batch of preventive materials donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation arrive at Liege Airport, Belgium, March 16. The materials are later distributed to Italy and Belgium. Photo from the website of Jack Ma Foundation