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WeChat has an estimated 2 million mini programs covering a variety of services, which now include reporting on epidemics. (Picture: Shutterstock)

WeChat now lets you report information on the Wuhan coronavirus

The Chinese government is harnessing the power of WeChat to battle the Wuhan virus and future epidemics

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
WeChat, China’s most popular social app, recently launched a function allowing users to report incidents related to epidemics as the country grapples with an outbreak of a deadly coronavirus.

The platform was set up to collect tipoffs and suggestions from the general public and relevant departments in order to prevent epidemics. The function also allows people to report when measures to control a virus are inadequate, according to the announcement from China’s General Office of the State Council.

Users can submit reports through WeChat’s City Services mini program, which usually offers day-to-day functions useful for big-city dwellers like paying utilities and traffic fines or booking doctors’ appointments. It’s just one of an estimated 2 million WeChat mini programs covering everything from gaming to restaurant bookings and other local services.
Enabling tip-offs through WeChat is one of several moves tech companies and authorities are taking to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, which as of today has taken dozens of lives and infected more than 2,000. Ecommerce companies Taobao and JD have been selling millions of masks, booking platforms are refunding hotels and travel tickets, and big tech events have been canceled. The disease has also resulted in canceled movie screenings, with one family flick swapping theaters for streaming on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
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