Shanghai and Ogilvy Create Care Codes to Connect 140 Million Elderly in China to the Digital World

Whether it’s buying groceries or booking a train ticket, making a medical appointment, or hailing a taxi, just about everything today everything can be done on smartphones. But, for the 140 million elderly in China who don’t know how to use a smartphone, the digitalization of services, accelerated by the pandemic, has left many isolated says a new initiative from the Shanghai Municipal Government and Ogilvy Shanghai that looks to rectify the problem.

To reconnect them to the digital world, the agency re-imagined the QR code – which often evokes frustration amongst the senior generation – into the Care Code (乐龄码), a smiling symbol which the elderly can use to access simplified versions of China’s essential mobile tools, including ride-hailing app Didi and payment platform Alipay.

The Care Code also leads users to the “Le Ling Shen Cheng G Life” (乐龄申城G生活)WeChat service account, a learning platform where seniors can acquire useful knowledge and digital skills to make everyday life easier through video tutorials and interactive games.


Through the platform, elders can also consult retirement-related information and book offline classes hosted in their neighborhood along with key locations across Shanghai’s 16 districts, including community centers, subway stations, banks, and service halls of telecommunication carriers to indicate the presence of volunteers to assist with anything from paying utility bills to making online appointments.

The campaign supports the collective efforts from the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee’s Bureau of Veteran Cadres, the Shanghai Spiritual Civilization Construction Commission Office, the Shanghai Health Commission, the Shanghai Economy and Informatization Commission, the Shanghai Bureau of Communication Management, and the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology to create a more senior-friendly society and narrow the digital divide.

On China’s Double Ninth Festival (October 14), a traditional festival for young people to show their respect for older generations, local government units and Ogilvy Shanghai collaborated to encourage inter-generational knowledge transfer by launching a creative digital donation campaign.


Taking into account China’s silver generation’s love for short video content, Ogilvy Shanghai partnered with Kuaishou to encourage Chinese youngsters, who are typically prolific content creators, to donate a short video teaching seniors how to use smartphones in daily life scenarios. 6 celebrity ambassadors were recruited to promote the initiative alongside live-streaming star Austin Li.

A “Care Key” is currently under development and set to launch in the next few months to further help seniors with mobility issues and those who do not know how to use their smartphones.

Through this device, users will be able to dial a service hotline and send their location information to their relatives should they get lost in the city.


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