‘The new normal’: China’s excessive coronavirus public monitoring could be here to stay

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    Over the last two months, Chinese citizens have had to adjust to a new level of government intrusion.

    Getting into one’s apartment compound or workplace requires scanning a QR code, writing down one’s name and ID number, temperature and recent travel history. Telecom operators track people’s movements while social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo have hotlines for people to report others who may be sick. Some cities are offering people rewards for informing on sick neighbours.

    Chinese companies are meanwhile rolling out facial recognition technology that can detect elevated temperatures in a crowd or flag citizens not wearing a face mask. A range of apps use the personal health information of citizens to alert others of their proximity to infected patients or whether they have been in close contact.

    Jessica Skorich

    Jessica Skorich

    Jessica Skorich

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