Zhengzhou authorities turn bank protestors' health codes red

Occurred: June 2022

People trying to join protests in Zhengzhou in order to gain access to their deposits in struggling banks in China's Henan province saw health code apps turn red, classifying them a risk to public health and restricting their movements.

The spring and summer 2022 protests had been triggered by four rural banks stopping customers withdraw cash, resulting in a bank run and fueling allegations of financial corruption. An investigation by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission later found that a private investment company had collaborated with the banks to illicitly attract public funds via online platforms.

It transpired that 1,317 Henan bank depositors had unfairly received red health codes, almost all whom were unable to withdraw their savings from the four banks. Five Zhengzhou official were found to have manipulated protestors' COVID-19 health code apps and were punished.

The move reinforced fears that COVID-19 contact tracing data could easily be used for covert or nefarious purposes.

Operator: Zhengzhou Municipal Health Commission
Developer: Alibaba/Alipay/DingTalk; Tencent/WeChat
Country: China
Sector: Govt - health
Purpose: Control COVID-19
Issue: Dual/multi-use; Privacy; Surveillance  
Transparency: Governance; Complaints/appeals