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CHINA BRIEF | Alihealth offers online consultation for overseas Chinese via Alipay, as coronavirus spreads globally

The novel coronavirus has infected patients in more than 100 countries.

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Alibaba’s health unit Alihealth and fintech affiliate Ant Financial have launched an online consultation channel on Alipay for overseas Chinese. The feature is being rolled out as the novel coronavirus spreads to more than 100 countries, according to a post on Alihealth’s Weibo feed on Saturday.

Between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon every day (Beijing time), Chinese users who are overseas can use the new tool to consult with a China-based doctor for advice about COVID-19 or other diseases if they cannot seek immediate medical advice locally. The Chinese embassies in Italy and Japan have recommended the feature to Chinese citizens located in their host countries.

Alihealth added that the online consultation can only be used as a reference and cannot replace a doctor’s in-person diagnosis.

The coronavirus has infected 6,566 individuals in Iran, 1,193 in Japan, 7,424 in Italy, 1,209 in France, and 1,040 in Germany by 9:00 a.m. on Monday (Beijing time).

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.