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Alibaba Launches New Vaccine Check Tool as Fury Over Health Scandal Mounts

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As outrage aimed at one of China’s biggest pharmaceutical companies continued to mount following allegations that they had knowingly produced faulty vaccines, Alibaba has launched a new vaccine background check function for concerned parents.

Changsheng Bio Technology’s chairperson Gao Junfung and three other executives from the firm were detained by police yesterday as fury over the scandal continued to grow. Last week, the company was found to have faked key data related to a rabies vaccine specifically aimed at children, sub-standard drugs which nevertheless made it to market.

As the scandal broke over the weekend, some in China turned to blockchain technology to protect the story against censorship:

Chinese Bet on Blockchain to Counter Vaccine Scandal Cover-up

And now, one of the country’s main tech giants has unveiled a new function to help worried parents check the background details for a host of kid-focused vaccines. AliHealth’s new initiative — which also runs via Taobao and Alipay — allows users to scan the barcode on a vaccine box or enter the product name to bring up important information on the medicine’s legitimacy and to check whether it is among the faulty vaccines at the heart of the recent scandal.

The shocking story has exposed major problems with standards in China’s pharmaceutical industry. Some of the tech-minded responses are demonstrating how new technologies can and are being used to address accountability and quality issues.

Update: WeChat, Baidu and other major online portals have now also introduced a quick-fire check for vaccines on their platforms.

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