COVID-19 Tracking in China

Policy brief

Kolås, Åshild (2022) COVID-19 Tracking in China, PRIO Policy Brief, 6. Oslo: PRIO.

After COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, governments across the world sought to monitor and help prevent the spread of the virus using digital tools. An early example of such a tool was an enterprise resumption app, developed by a tech company in the Alibaba Group and launched in China in February 2020. As of 2022, smartphone ‘Health Kit’ apps are at the core of China’s effort to achieve ‘zero-COVID’. In major Chinese cities, residents must submit to frequent testing and go through checkpoints to gain entry to their workplace, residential compound or campus. The new apps enable unprecedented monitoring and surveillance.

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