According to a recent report by United Daily News (UDN), one of Taiwan’s primary news groups, local governments across China adopted “Health Codes” to control travel during the three-year period of China’s Zero-Covid control. Although that the Chinese government’s Zero-Covid controls have now been largely lifted, the Health Code platform remains in place. Shanghai now intends to transform its city Health Code to a “City Code,” which will be integrated with public life in all aspects and become one of the region’s “social governance” tools. This move has been widely viewed by the public as strengthening the means of monitoring and controlling the flow of people.
The new City Code is critical in creating a comprehensive urban service and governance system that envisions “One person, one code,” “One company, one code,” and “One object, one code.” In Shanghai’s plan for individuals, the tracking includes monitoring of offline government services like medical treatments, rides on public transportation, visits to public tourist spots, public library visits, etc. For companies, the City Code serves will factor into scenarios such as company information disclosure, production safety, government service recommendations, government policy delivery and comprehensive supervision, etc. The City Code will combined geographic information as well as block-chain technology.
Social affairs analysts expressed the view that Shanghai’s City Code is a major expansion of the Health Code for Covid prevention, and that it is undoubtedly the authorities’ intention to strengthen the control over all aspects of people’s life. Some netizens worry that the City Code could be abused by criminals. In addition to the infringement of citizens’ privacy, people may also suffer economic losses.
Source: UDN, July 11, 2023