News Tech and Science

China using Covid app to forcefully restrict residents after rare banking protests – report

Australia probes Covid-19 response
Source: Pixabay

Following rare protests, authorities in the Chinese province of Henan are suspected of restricting some residents’ movements using the Covid app, according to the BBC report.

Several people have reported being forced to quarantine, being barred from using public transportation, or being denied entry into buildings.

According to Chinese media outlets, the majority appear to be customers of four rural banks that had problems providing cash withdrawals.

Last month, banks froze deposits, sparking angry protests, according to the BBC.

Since then, China’s banking and insurance regulator has launched an investigation into the banks.

It is estimated that more than 39 billion yuan ($6 billion) has been frozen, affecting hundreds of thousands of customers.

Residents in many Chinese cities use a “health code” app to enter buildings and shops, take public transportation, or leave the city. Before entering, users must scan a QR code and display a color-coded “health status” on their phone.

If this status changes to red, it means the person has recently tested positive for Covid or is suspected of having Covid and must be quarantined for 14 days, according to the BBC.

When some residents attempted to enter train stations, buildings, or hotels on Tuesday, their status turned red.

It is unknown how many people have been affected, but Chinese media reports that the problem has occurred in several towns and villages in Henan.

Customers of the four banks who travelled from other provinces to Henan’s capital city Zhengzhou experienced the same problem.

One Zhengzhou bank customer told BBC Chinese that her status was red despite the fact that she had never been in contact with a confirmed case and her most recent tests came back negative.

She went on to say that she was visited by health officials who told her to stay at home and refused to explain why her status had suddenly changed to red.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

Daily Newsletter