Live with the Corona-Code: For Virus security numbers, the Chinese high price

The German head of the foreign office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Beijing, and has witnessed the history of the Corona pandemic in their country of ori

Live with the Corona-Code: For Virus security numbers, the Chinese high price

The German head of the foreign office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Beijing, and has witnessed the history of the Corona pandemic in their country of origin close to the action. The economic consequences of the lock downs in China are serious. For the first time in decades, the economy contracted in the performance of the second largest economy in the world. Meanwhile, the employees of the companies and factories have returned to their jobs. Their goal: to bring the giant Chinese Economic machine up and Running again, without a second virus wave to trigger.

Tracking is China's impact strongest tool

to prevent, that the production is again paralyzed, is done in Chinese offices and factories much. BMW, for example, measures for its employees at Chinese production sites, three Times a day, the temperature, and maintains the data in an internal Chat App. At the site of the German chemistry giant BASF in Shanghai, a mask is mandatory, employees will be subjected to our company's gates a fever screening and production shifts have not been so changed, that the shift teams meet in the first place. "Currently all of our production sites in a stable and safe operation," says Bradley Morrison of BASF Greater China FOCUS Online.

The most powerful tool of the Chinese authorities in the viral containment, however, is the Tracking of mobile phones with QR Code Apps. At the beginning of the pandemic, on the basis of mobile phone data and movements of individuals and groups of people to track. So, to predict where Covid-19 is then spread. The authorities could take appropriate action. Meanwhile, the people's Republic recorded only a few new infections per day. The Tracking of its citizens, however, goes further. AFP A worker disinfected the production hall of a German car manufacturer in Beijing.

"Corona light" in all areas of life

"health-Apps and QR Codes are one of the most important pillars in the relaunch strategy of the Chinese economy," says Kai of Carnap from the Mercator Institute for China Studies in an interview with FOCUS Online. As before, the authorities can have access to the databases of the three major Chinese telecommunications providers-China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, and movement profiles of mobile phone users to create. Social networks and Messenger services such as the in China very popular WhatsApp-counterpart, the "" are used WeChat to create individual health profiles. "This technology has led to many Paper documents are not needed anymore and the temperatures of the people will no longer be measured. Instead, the individual QR is scanned-Code to demonstrate whether someone Covid-ill 19 or not,“ reported by Carnap.

Like this, "Corona-Codes" are carefully calculated, not can even experts say with certainty. "It Algorithms, about which we still know very little. The authorities and companies do not give all the Details about price,“ reported by Carnap. The expert, however, assumes that a data combination of the mobile Tracing, self levels of reported personal health status and various demographic factors plays in the calculation of the code. The result is the three-stage "Corona light", which plays for the Chinese in the meantime a big role in your daily life.

read Everything on the Corona-crisis researchers Have discovered why the Virus spread so rapidly?

Jumps to the Code in Red, you will not dissipated

"If you want to participate in China's public life and work life, you have to use a health App," reports Foundation staff Michael winemakers. Also for foreigners since Corona: Only with green Code to get to his workplace, in Restaurants or at the hairdresser.

A yellow Code means that the algorithm has detected a risk of infection, because the person Concerned has resided in a high-risk area, or contact to an infected Person. A seven-day in-house quarantine is the result. In the worst case – the "Code red" has Covid-19-Symptoms and is immediately brought by the police or security personnel in a two-week quarantine. "There are reports that the people may not once more your own house to enter and in designated Corona Hotels or care areas will be referred to", says of Carnap. AFP The visitors of a Shopping Mall, scanning with Smartphones QR-health-Code at the entrance of the building.

company to monitor Apps employees

The social consequences of this strategy are far-reaching. Of all of the crucial personal QR-Code will be able to participate in many Chinese cities, and in public life. The more important it is to not feed the Apps with daily Updates and new data, in order not to lose the Status as a "safe citizen". If you cannot manage this, from Carnap, "have to reckon with discrimination and stigma".

companies in China work closely with the authorities and use the technology to prevent the outbreak of a Virus in its production facilities, under all circumstances. Sometimes the serious consequences for the employees In the canteens of the Taiwanese technology group Foxconn, for example, produced in China for Apple iPhones, has partition walls were installed, and QR Codes to the chairs attached. Every employee has to scan before he is allowed to continue. So the company keeps a record of every movement of its employees.

technology provides a sense of security

in Spite of such "Orwellian States" in everyday working life and the public life of the Chinese, the use of Tracking technology has created a widespread feeling of security, says of Carnap. "The people rely on the Apps to assess the state of health of their users correctly. You go to the office or to a Restaurant and know that the people in your surroundings are healthy.“

According to this security, many people crave in this country. But so successful the QR-Code-Apps are doing in China, the restart after the Lockdown forward, there are justifiable doubts as to the technology – not only legal and moral. In the people's Republic, there is not 'a' Health Code App, but many different providers. The part of the companies develop for their employees and even their own versions of the "Corona light".

Can contain Apps Virus really?

The Problem: "The services are based on different data sources and use different Algorithms. It may so happen that the state of health of a Person is valued according to the App differently,“ explains von Carnap. Wrongly prescribed quarantine or unnoticed infections could be the result of damage that would be taken in the people's Republic, however, in the purchase, - the expert believes. "Because the assumption is that the economic damage would be if the Lockdown is due to Corona would have to be continued, much bigger."

the technology is obviously not Mature completely, had to also experience Michael winemakers. Recently, the personal health code of his entire family jumped incorrectly from "Green" to "Yellow". "Then we had to all stay home until this was sorted out and the phone App to 'Green' displayed." What was the reason, not winemaker family know until today.

  • More use of digital technologies in China's fight against Covid-19 you can also read on the quay of Carnap's Blog

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Updated Date: 21 May 2020, 15:36

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