Alibaba Group is leveraging its key cloud-based technologies and platforms to help prevent – and perhaps one day contain – the Covid-19 virus.
As millions of companies across the country resumed business operations this week after an extended Chinese New Year break, authorities in many major cities have advised organizations to allow employees the flexibility to work from home.
To help businesses and employees manage remote-working arrangements, Dingtalk, Alibaba’s enterprise communication and collaboration app, launched various features this month to enable instant communication and remote teamwork, including video conferencing, livestreaming for over 300 participants, cloud-based document editing and approval and daily health surveys for employees. These features were made available for free to over 200 million workers from more than 10 million companies and organizations. The platform also added 100,000 cloud servers to support the nationwide demand for cloud-based communications that connect those working outside an office setting.
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It’s not just businesses that are making use of DingTalk’s features. On Feb. 10 – the first day of school after the CNY break – more than 600,000 teachers in China tapped into the app’s livestream feature to deliver their lessons. According to the Alibaba, 50 million students from more than 300 Chinese cities participated in this Online Classroom program initiated by DingTalk and Youku, Alibaba’s online video-sharing hub.
Tech Solutions to the Outbreak
Alibaba has been leveraging its extensive ecosystem to battle the novel virus. Last week, the group unveiled 20 measures to help small and medium-sized businesses strained by the infection.
Meanwhile, working with the Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the group’s global technology research unit, Alibaba DAMO Academy, has been using its AI algorithm to accelerate the analyses and diagnoses of suspected coronavirus cases.
Alibaba Cloud also opened its AI-powered computing platform to global research institutions in hopes of accelerating viral gene-sequencing, protein-screening as well as the search for anti-virus treatments.
“The platform based on Alibaba Cloud’s powerful calculations and new algorithms from DAMO Academy is capable of providing support for the diagnosis and analysis of the coronavirus, which has laid a foundation for narrowing down the scope of confirmed cases and for the development of vaccines and drugs in the near future,” said Dr. Sun Yin, head of the Zhejiang CDC.
To ensure community safety, Alibaba Cloud also helped develop online IT management platforms for government departments in 20 provinces and counties. These platforms aid in tracking and sharing information on the developments of the viral outbreak and also include features such as case reporting, real-time updates and Q&A chatbots that offer information on virus prevention.
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