‘Big White’ Lockdown Enforcer Tells of China’s Pandemic Corruption

‘Big White’ Lockdown Enforcer Tells of China’s Pandemic Corruption
A 'Big White' epidemic control worker is pictured wearing PPE as he guards the gate of a government quarantine facility in Beijing, China, on Dec. 7, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Mary Hong

During the Chinese Communist regime’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns, “Big Whites” were often the greatest fear for ordinary Chinese citizens.

“Big Whites” were the workers who implemented the regime’s measures against the CCP virus across China—so named because of the protective white suits they wore. They were authorized to restrict personal freedom at will in the name of pandemic prevention.

In a recent interview, former “Big White” Li Changlin told The Epoch Times that many such enforcers used their positions to gain special treatment during the lockdowns.

Li witnessed the chaos of Beijing’s almost fanatic pandemic control measures. Disgusted by the regime’s inhumanity to its own citizens, he subsequently decided to leave China.

Quarantine as a Business

In Feb. 2021, Li left his factory job and began working as a Big White for a quarantine hotel in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in China’s east. The local government designated the hotel for the isolation of Chinese persons arriving back in the area from overseas—primarily from Europe and Australia.

According to Li, each new arrival was required to stay in quarantine for 28 days at a fee of 300 yuan ($43) per day—excluding the cost of food. The first two weeks were to be spent in Hangzhou, and then the person would be transported back to their hometown for a second quarantine stay of 14 days. The total cost, including that of expensive take-out meals at an estimated 100 yuan per day, would add up to at least 10,000 yuan ($1447.64).

However, Li found that many quarantined persons were simply allowed to leave after they paid the quarantine fee. “The local government didn’t bother questioning [whether they were infected or not] after the money was received,” he said. Some inmates weren’t released for 45 days, while others, inexplicably, left after just two.

Li Changlin protests against human trafficking in China in front of the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on Jan. 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Li Changlin)
Li Changlin protests against human trafficking in China in front of the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on Jan. 7, 2023. (Courtesy of Li Changlin)

The Free ‘Big Whites’

Li revealed that on his first day on the job, the Big Whites were informed that their personal identification was stored on the server of the public security service. The health and itinerary codes of Big Whites would always present as green—even if they came into contact with persons with the red code.

“We just went wherever we wanted to,“ he said. ”To be honest, none of us would take it seriously.”

“In China, you just can’t speak about such things openly,” said Li.

The pay scales of the Big Whites were high for the region at a minimum of 10,000 yuan ($1,435) per month, while the work was easy.

Li said that in his opinion, the health codes and itinerary codes served merely as the Chinese communist regime’s tools to collect wealth and restrict people’s freedom, and did not do anything for pandemic prevention. The security personnel in the hotel simply enforced the rules on the people quarantined.

As a believer in Buddhism, Li says his faith meant he could not participate in the deception, and he wanted to leave as quickly as possible. He left the job as soon as he found a way to leave China.

Shawn Ma contributed to this report.