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Business trends

Coronavirus tracking apps: Tech firms see opportunities in Asia

China and US giants get involved in development as countries restart economies

This Chinese tracing app rates a user's risk for carrying and passing on the COVID-19 virus. There are three QR code colors -- red means infected, yellow indicates close contact with an infected person and green shows no problem. (Photo altered to protect owner's privacy)

SINGAPORE -- From Silicon Valley giants to Chinese internet powerhouses to local small and midsize enterprises, tech companies are finding business opportunities in coronavirus tracing apps that are being introduced by Asian governments as they secure safety from coronavirus infections while reopening their economies. On Friday Japan also launched an app developed by Microsoft.

Tracing apps take various forms, some using GPS to track potential infection cases and others adopting Bluetooth to record encounters. Some countries have developed the apps by themselves, such as Malaysia's MyTrace app, but private companies are involved in some government apps. 

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