CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (5/4/2020 Mon.)

CHINA

Podcast: Story in the Story (5/4/2020 Mon.)

People's Daily app

02:00, May 04, 2020

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From the People's Daily App.

This is Story in the Story.

For people hunkering down due to the coronavirus epidemic, the tech sector has become their new best friend with an array of lifestyle solutions making "social distancing" easier.

Those wanting to avoid crowds can have meals delivered from restaurants, stream blockbuster films, socialize online with friends and work remotely.

The latest tech-inspired lifestyle solutions are gaining traction as more people are advised to work from home, and many conferences and gatherings are canceled.

Anyone with an internet connection can use Amazon or e-commerce rivals to deliver provisions from groceries to over-the-counter medicine.

Video calling services have also helped with virtual doctor visits - or telemedicine - so patients can consult with physicians online and avoid visits to hospitals.

Today’s story in the story looks at how IT in general has become a key player in China as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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A food deliveryman in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province is offered free breakfast for his hard work during the COVID-19 outbreak in China.(Photo: IG)

Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi shared a news video clip of someone in China using a remote-controlled toy truck mounted with a GoPro camera to fetch supplies.

"When it comes to technology, there are different things that make isolation easier; from streaming video to digital books to gaming," Milanesi said.

People in China are among people all over the world who are now adopting remote working at various degrees to limit the spread of the virus, according to Milanesi, pointing to services like teleconferencing apps.

"There is such excitement around remote work that brands like Zoom have seen their stock value climb up," Milanesi said in an online post.

"On paper, now is the time!"

She wondered, though, whether the promise of working remotely will run into a wall due to a need to update employment regulations as well as "trust issues of managers who need to feel they are in control."

"One would think that in 2020, productivity should be measured in output and not in hours," Milanesi said.

"Ultimately, remote working should be seen as a business asset at any time, not just when we are under the threat of a pandemic."

Telemedicine is a field that has been making huge strides in recent years and has become even more prominent since the outbreak of the coronavirus, as has information technology (IT) in general.

China's internet-based healthcare is playing an increasingly integral part in the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Favorable policies have allowed the sector to boost the medium-to long-term development of the medical industry and contributed to the country's stable economic development, industry experts said.

Given the fact that most people are staying at home and avoid going to physical hospitals, the user volume in China's internet healthcare sector is estimated to surpass 60 million in 2020, generating a market volume of over 700 billion yuan ($100.4 billion), a recent report by Beijing-based think tank EqualOcean showed.

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Medical experts hold online consultations at the Telemedicine Center of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in Hohhot on Feb 14.(Photo: Xinhua)

"The epidemic outbreak happened at the beginning of this year, which is exactly the crucial year for China to realize the transformation of its economic growth mode and vigorously develop the digital economy,” said Zhang Hong, a member of the expert committee on information and communication economy under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

“Currently, the digital economy takes up one third of China's economic aggregate. The advantages brought by a digital economy have made great contributions during the special period."

Chen Qiaoshan, a healthcare analyst at Beijing-based market consultancy Analysys, said: "The fight against the epidemic has brought new growth points for the internet-based medical sector.

“As the epidemic entered a high incidence period, online consultations are now the top choice for the public."

Chen said most internet medical companies are now capable of meeting current requirements by making full use of their unique advantages in rapid responses to online consultation, remote isolation and diversion before consultation.

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