China Terminates “Citizen Surveillance App” as Parts of Loosening Covid Restrictions

On Tuesday, people in China celebrated the removal of a state-mandated app used to follow when travelling to Covid-hit areas, the latest move to ease restrictions of some of the world’s hardest anti-virus rules.

Last week, China started ending key parts of its strictly zero-Covid policy, enforced by the government, after widespread protests against the curbs last month.

Xi Jinping, the president of China, had come hard on the significant protests against the signature zero-Covid policy with the demonstrations ranging from candle-lit vigils to street fights between furious residents and violence police. The protest was the biggest show of public displeasure in the mainland since Xi Jinping came into power in 2012.

After the protest, the government dropped the mandatory testing prior to many public activities, controlling quarantine. 

On Monday, the authorities terminated the app at midnight, which China’s four telecoms firmed to delete user’s data associated with this app, while the netizens using social media platforms such as Weibo cheered that the app was finished. 

Itinerary code was mainly used in domestic travel in China, which the authorities also used what they called health codes, that residents must have scanned during entering public venues to check whether they may be in contact with the virus. 

The critics said an app called itinerary code could be used for mass surveillance and social control of the population.