China Tracks Coronavirus Victims Using WeChat and Alipay Payment Systems
By Marko Vidrih on The Capital
The government of Hubei Province of China, located at the epicenter of coronavirus (COVID-19), published a report on February 18 that details measures taken against the disease. The report says that both offline and online purchases of medicines for this disease are monitored in order to properly organize the care of those who are infected.
As long as the coronavirus does not recede, provincial officials have taken measures to control outbreaks of the disease. At present, pharmacies and medical facilities must request identification from those who are buying drugs for the disease and are trying to be treated for the virus.
Among other measures, the Chinese government launched an investigation to assess the extent of the outbreak. Officials reported:
“Since January 20, comprehensive investigations have been carried out on patients with coronavirus who are being treated at various medical institutions, as well as those who purchase medicines for fever and cough in pharmacies or online. We record the time, names, civil number, address of residence and contact numbers of the aforementioned patients. On-site checks of these individuals were organized, their testing, isolation and treatment.”
Although there is no direct mention of this, information is apparently collected through Alipay and WeChat, China’s largest mobile payment systems, sources say.
Emergency measures taken against the coronavirus indicate that the government may well practice tracking the purchases of its citizens without the CBDC, which, in essence, they seek to introduce as the most important instrument for controlling financial flows in China. Earlier, China also explicitly stated that the digital yuan should become a geopolitical counterbalance to payment tools such as Facebook’s Libra, as well as US monetary dominance.
Thus, individual and mass tracking, initiated by Chinese officials in connection with the outbreak of coronavirus, is possible mainly due to centralized payment systems.
Author: Marko Vidrih
Featured image credit: Pixabay