API Geoeconomic Briefing is a series provided by the Asia Pacific Initiative, an independent think tank based in Tokyo. The series will look into geopolitical and economic trends in the post-COVID-19 world, with a particular focus on four areas: technology and innovation, global supply chains, international rule-making and climate change.

On Dec. 31, 2019, about the same time as the World Health Organization’s China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China, BlueDot, a small startup in Toronto, Canada, sent an alert on the outbreak to its clients based on information from its disease analytics platform that a cluster of pneumonia had been reported at a seafood market in the Chinese city.

The warning was sent out five days before the WHO officially issued its Disease Outbreak News (DONs).