China’s drive to educate the elderly on digital technology

At Beilin Community in central China’s Henan Province, an education drive is taking place to teach seniors how to use smartphones.

Seventy-year-old Zhang Baijun said she’s excited to take part in the course. She’s learning how to chat with family and friends, make video calls on WeChat, pay bills on Alipay and scan health codes to access public buildings.

Zhang shared, “I’m quite interested in online shopping. It seems very convenient.”

China had over 253-million senior citizens in 2019. Many are struggling to adapt to a rapidly transforming society. The problem has come into sharp focus during COVID-19, as many services, including health codes needed to enter many buildings have all gone digital.

In response, many public places in China, such as train stations and hospitals, have set up small booths to assist the elderly.

The Chinese government issued a policy document in November aimed at helping seniors adapt to an increasingly digital society.

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