Since the outbreak of the CCP virus (COVID-19), the Chinese communist regime has implemented a so-called health code system that assigns to everyone’s smartphone, via mobile app, a colored QR code. Green means you can pass checkpoints, but yellow or red requires you to quarantine for a set number of days, as determined by authorities.
The stated purpose of the health codes is to monitor and prevent the spread of the virus. However The Epoch Times has obtained internal documents that suggest the real purposes go beyond monitoring the virus toward monitoring individuals and maintaining “social stability.”
The health code system developed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba was first adopted in February to monitor its employees’ health. With the help of Ant Financial, a sister company of Alibaba, the system was introduced publicly in the eastern city of Hangzhou. Around the same time, internet giant Tencent also developed its version of a health code system in collaboration with authorities, through its app WeChat.
Since the system was rolled out nationwide, it has become a major risk assessment tool for the virus. As the regime strictly implements containment measures according to the mobile apps, people’s lives have been quickly and drastically affected.
For months, this smart phone-based QR code system has successfully helped the regime to control people’s movements. The system records the user’s frequency and time spent at or near a virus outbreak and covers such details as local streets and towns.
For using public transit, going shopping, or visiting other public spaces, a smart phone with the green code is a must in order to pass security checkpoints. The Epoch Times has reported numerous cases of Chinese citizens being harassed or beaten by officers when they could not produce the QR code at security checkpoints.
But some people expressed privacy concerns over the personal information they must enter into the health code app.
Chinese online media The News Lens analyzed that the use of health codes is worrisome, given that local governments can use this system to suppress dissidents such as petitioners, political prisoners, and rights defenders. “With a red code, people will get trapped and excluded from any public services.”
In recent years, the Chinese regime has adopted digitized surveillance tools such as security cameras equipped with facial recognition technology, spyware, artificial intelligence, and big data analysis to monitor people, drawing concerns from human rights groups.
Internal Documents Provide Clues
The Epoch Times recently obtained a series of internal documents from China that revealed how the regime has utilized the health code system for the purpose of strengthening control of the population.
A document titled, “Urgent Notice on Strengthening the Application of Hebei Health Code,” was issued by an office within the Baoding City government in response to the CCP virus pandemic. This urgent notice was done “to ensure the success of Two Sessions,” the annual meetings of the Chinese Communist Party’s rubber-stamp legislature and its advisory body, held in Beijing from May 21 to 29 this year. The political meetings are an occasion for top Party officials to discuss future policies; the city is usually heavily guarded and policed during that period.
The document was obtained from a source who has proved reliable in the past.
The document said, “this is to strictly implement the central, provincial, and municipal work requirements” and strengthen the health code’s application in local areas and its coverage of public places such as transit stations, malls, supermarkets, businesses, hospitals, scenic spots, hotels, restaurants, traffic checkpoints, and public transportation to “ensure the safety and stability of the Two Sessions.”
The document also requires CCP officials to improve their “ideological awareness,” and make full use of the health code as a security check system to serve the Two Sessions.
Another series of internal documents from Baoding city, Hebei Province, disclosed how two shopping centers did not fulfill their obligation in monitoring the public during the pandemic.
The Baoding City Office of the Leading Group for Response to Epidemic Diseases issued a “Notice to the city commerce bureau regarding ineffective implementation of the epidemic supervision and control” on June 25. The notice stated that since the outbreak in Beijing, the city has “entered into a wartime state,” but individual units and departments have failed to implement virus prevention measures.
The notice particularly mentioned that on June 12, a confirmed COVID-19 patient surnamed Liu (from Li county), went to Wanbo Plaza (the tallest building in Hebei Province, a landmark in Baoding City) and RT-Mart. The tracking system found that neither of the above two business sites implemented prevention and control measures such as temperature checks, code scanning, registration of personal information, and guidance to wear masks.