Mobile App Helps Save Hundreds Of Trafficked Children

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Chinese authorities recovered hundreds of missing children last year with the help of a mobile app that allows police officers and other users to share information expediently.

The Ministry of Public Security, China’s main police authority, said that 611 missing children were found last year, according to Reuters.

The app called “Tuanyuan,” which translates to “reunion” in Chinese and was developed by the massive e-commerce company Alibaba Group, was a contributing factor to the recovering of several children. (RELATED: China’s Alibaba Probably Can’t Create 1 Million US Jobs)

When a child is suspected to have vanished in a certain area, users near that location can automatically receive notifications from the app, like photos and descriptions.

“Tuanyuan” was also updated in November in order to collaborate with other popular apps in the country that have instant messaging capabilities, or ride-sharing functionality, according to Reuters.

It is essentially like the “Amber Alert” system in America, but with an interactive and advanced platform that can be used on smartphones.

Such disappearances are somewhat common in the country because child trafficking is such a pervasive problem. (RELATED: More Than Missing: Why China’s Child Trafficking Problem Isn’t Going Away)

While baby girls are abducted as well, population control policies have essentially made very young male children more desirable for at least a large part of the country, because boys are viewed as the name-bearers and generally take care of aging family members.

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