TCLK: Blockchain-Powered Information Platform
(9 pages of text)
In February 2020, an entrepreneur and his team in China created a mobile application called Tong Cheng Lian Kang (TCLK), which crowdsourced information on publicly known cases of COVID-19, enabling users to find out if they might have been exposed to an infected individual. The application leveraged blockchain technology to record and validate user submissions of COVID-19 cases to ensure that submission and validation data were immutable, transparent, and decentralized. Users could volunteer to submit publicly recorded cases of COVID-19 or to validate the submissions of others in exchange for digital tokens on the blockchain platform, which they could use to redeem small gifts. As the number of new COVID-19 cases decreased, the entrepreneur wondered how to expand the blockchain concept to build a more sustainable business model. He was considering three options: expanding internationally, which would require building trust with users who lacked familiarity with Chinese applications; diversifying within the healthcare industry by expanding to a business-to-business model, possibly by linking prospective patients to hospitals and health care; and applying the blockchain concept to address issues in industries outside of healthcare. How could he best ensure the sustainability of TCLK?
This case is suitable for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on strategy, innovation, and disruptive technologies. After completion of the case and assignment questions, students will be able to:
- Understand the challenges of efficiently disseminating information during a pandemic.
- Assess the key features and benefits of blockchain.
- Evaluate the ability of blockchain features to increase the efficiency of information sharing.
- Consider the challenges and considerations of implementing disruptive technology in a crisis environment.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
China, Small, 2020
$5.30 CAD / $5.00 USD Printed Copy
$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Permissions
$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Digital Download