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China's elderly offered training courses on the use of smartphones

(People's Daily Online)    16:25, December 28, 2020

China has accelerated the pace of offering training courses on the use of smartphones to the elderly, as part of the efforts to help the seniors fully enjoy the convenience of digital life and propel the development of the silver economy.

"Clicking 'mine' in the lower right corner, you can notice the balance of your digital wallet on Alipay (China's third-party mobile and online payment platform). Please remember this web page, as next, I will show you how to go shopping on the Internet," said a lecturer to a dozen senior citizens receiving training on the use of intelligent mobile phones at Zhongyu community, Yinzhou district, Ningbo city, east China's Zhejiang province.

"During the epidemic prevention and control period, after visiting many households of the community, we found that the elderly are very willing to use smartphones, but for them it is a challenging task. We have set up a training course in the hope of making some changes," said Zhou Ling, director of the Zhongyu Community neighborhood committee.

Senior people learn to use smart phones during training in a community in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian province on Nov. 4, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)

Zhou added that in addition to explaining basic operations, such as charging telephone fees and enabling intelligent transportation, the community has also provided training on how to do online shopping, the use of some APPs, as well as the prevention of telecommunications fraud etc. for the elderly.

A senior surnamed Wang, who has attended three classes, was full of praise for the training: "It is very convenient for me to take the subway, take the bus and pay water and electricity bills after learning the skills of mobile payment. After I learned how to buy vegetables online, I do not need to go to the vegetable market every day."

Ningbo Science and Technology Association has launched smartphone operation skills training for the middle-aged and elderly, as well as set up more than 200 teaching points in various districts and counties (cities) since May this year, as part of the efforts to facilitate the middle-aged and elderly to better enjoy the scientific and technological life.

According to the training plan, the middle-aged and elderly in Ningbo can master some practical skills on the use of mobile phones such as reading news, looking up weather forecasts, making an appointment with a doctor online and mobile payment.

What is the effect of the training? Can the elderly keep up with the pace of digital development?

"Of course they can! Some seniors start late, and we need to be more patient," said Qin Luguang, who works in the Ningbo branch of China Mobile, China's largest telecommunications company.

Qin is currently a community training teacher for the elderly. From his perspective, the training results are satisfactory, as many elderly people have been able to master the skills of taking advantage of smartphones and the Internet. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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