People moved after planting over 10 million real trees through their phones
In China, mobile users can plant a real tree through their phones. When people plant a virtual tree on the Ant Forest app, a real tree gets cultivated in the desert by the company. Ant Forest is an online platform where mobile users can cultivate their trees via online payment.
The app gives users’ a “carbon account” to measure how their activities can reduce carbon emissions. And the trees in Ant Forest absorb “energy” or “water” generated by green actions. These include online utility payments and taking public transport. Besides, a user’s Alipay friends can “steal” the energy if they don’t use it fast enough. Users can check the location of their real trees with the map in the app.
As of August this year, a total number of 10.25 million trees have been planted by local herdsmen and farmers in Inner Mongolia and Gansu Province. Over 200 million online users have successfully cultivated their trees in the desert.
Alipay’s official Weibo account released a video of the trees in the desert, giving thanks to the public. Many Chinese netizens said they did something truly world-changing and felt deeply touched.