In developed markets, the smartphone is almost an essential tool in order to get through the daily conundrum known as life, but in emerging markets, the smartphone is a luxury. Now, it’s also becoming an essential tool for survival as smartphone apps are in the making, which can track the coronavirus.
Funds like the Emerging Market Internet & Ecommerce ETF (NYSEArca: EMQQ) are quick to capitalize on this smartphone app opportunity in EM countries. EMQQ provides investors with exposure to the internet and ecommerce sectors of the developing world.
“As Chinese citizens slowly return to work despite the virus outbreak, smartphones have emerged as a critical tool to track the spread of the coronavirus,” EMQQ said in an email, referencing their latest white paper. “An app called Alipay Health Code assigns individuals the color green, yellow or red, depending on whether they should be allowed into public spaces or quarantined at home. Tencent’s WeChat has launched a similar QR-code-based tracking feature; the Close Contact Detector App notifies the user if they have been in close contact with a virus carrier.”
“After completing the questionnaire, users receive a mobile phone message that includes a color-based QR code related to the health condition they described,” EMQQ said. “Users with a red code are told to quarantine themselves for 14 days and continue reporting their condition by using Alibaba’s Ding Talk or Tencent’s WeChat app. Users with a yellow code are told to stay in quarantine for seven days, while those with a green code can travel freely. The app is also able to allow residents, security, and merchants to enter the ID number of other residents to check on their color code.”
Despite the coronavirus putting emerging markets in a downtrodden state, there is still value to be had in EM assets via ETFs like the Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Emerging Markets Equity ETF (GEM). GEM seeks to provide investment results that closely correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta® Emerging Markets Equity Index.
The fund invests at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index, in depositary receipts representing securities included in its underlying index and in underlying stocks in respect of depositary receipts included in its underlying index. The index is designed to deliver exposure to equity securities of emerging market issuers.
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