Government Technology Agency (GovTech) announced it had awarded a $6 million tender to a Singapore-based electronics maker PCI Pte Ltd to manufacture TraceTogether Tokens. The $6 million dollars will be used to supply an initial 300,000 dongles, worth about $20 each. The first batch of Token should be delivered in the second half of June 2020.
If the PAP successfully pushes through with its plan to tag every Singaporean, PCI Limited stands to gain access to a business potentially worth more than $110 million once Tokens are made for all 5.7 million residents.
PCI Pte Ltd started as a Silicon Valley circuit board manufacturer in 1972. However it was delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in May 2019 and bought over by an American private equity firm Platinum Equity for $265 million in that same year.
These Tokens were suggested as the PAP's previous attempts to get Singaporeans on board with its TraceTogether app failed. The app which used Bluetooth scanning was incompatible with Apple iOS and marred by privacy concerns.
These Tokens will also use Bluetooth scanning, and Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yet again had to sell the idea that these devices do not track location through GPS and the data stored within is supposedly encrypted. However netizens remain unconvinced as there exists potential privacy issues.