Beijing local governments in some communities have recently asked residents returning from domestic travel to wear COVID-19 monitoring bracelets. The order has received widespread criticism from the public over increased government oversight.
According to Caixin, a media outlet in mainland China, a female resident of Beijing who returned from Guangdong on July 13 had to be isolated from her community office for seven days at home. At 1:00 am, community staff came to give her an electronic monitoring bracelet and asked her to download her “Wei Health” app to upload the data collected by her bracelet. She was told that she had to wear it throughout her quarantine period so that she could measure her temperature.
The product manual describes the bracelet as a “multi-signal sensing device” with features such as temperature measurement, heart rate monitoring, and exercise monitoring. It also states that the device must be worn 24 hours a day.
According to staff at the community office in Chaoyang District, Beijing, the COVID-19 monitoring bracelet is a new management measure ordered by the authorities a few days ago, and its most useful function is to pinpoint the wearer’s exact location. I told Caixin Media.
Anger of the people
Some Beijing residents shared on social media that they were also required to wear a COVID-19 monitoring bracelet.
They have already regularly reported their temperature to the authorities and complained that they had undergone various tests during the quarantine. They said a new order from the authorities required that surveillance bracelets be worn overboard. They also criticized some people and officials for using COVID-19 precautions for the opportunity to make money.
Residents of the Tiantongyuan community said they had never seen official policies or regulations regarding the wearing of surveillance bracelets and questioned “whether it violates personal privacy.” There were so many complaints that community staff eventually regained the bracelet.
Wangquan Homeland officials in Shunyi District told the Beijing Radio Station that the city had selected three districts to try out surveillance bracelet measures.
On July 14, Beijing Municipal Health and Health Commission staff responded that they had never issued a policy requiring them to wear monitoring bracelets.
“It may be an epidemic preventive measure for the community,” they said.
Current critic Wang Wah told The Epoch Times on July 15 that such an order must be the policy of the Beijing authorities, and in his view the Health Commission is not telling the truth. rice field. He said Beijing is running an unannounced pilot program with surveillance bracelets. However, the issue is too sensitive and faces the backlash of many people, so the Commission denies that it has such a policy.
International legal scholar Lai Jampin agreed that the new order was likely planned and promoted by higher-level authorities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He added that Beijing Microchip Perception Technology Co., Ltd., a company that manufactures monitoring bracelets, belongs to the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission and the Haidian District Government. In addition to increasing government oversight of citizens, “there is another purpose to take advantage of this opportunity to raise government funding through government procurement of devices.”
Not only does this show that CCP’s COVID-19 preventive industry has expanded, Wang said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is a precedent for CCP to bring its digital totalitarian surveillance system to historic levels. It offered no opportunity. “
“We’ve moved from vaccination and nucleic acid testing to monitoring bracelets for complete control of people. Anyone can control what they want to do. This is a very scary sign,” Wang said.
Fang Xiao and Yi Ru contributed to the report.