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Residents say China used health tracker for crowd control

FILE - A woman wearing a face mask carries a masked child stands against a board displaying a...
FILE - A woman wearing a face mask carries a masked child stands against a board displaying a health QR code on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Beijing. Angry bank customers who traveled to a city in central China attempting to retrieve their savings from troubled rural banks were stopped in their tracks by a common technology: a QR code. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)(Andy Wong | AP)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:50 AM CDT
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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Angry bank customers who traveled to a city in central China to retrieve their savings from troubled rural banks have been stopped by a health app on their cellphone.

Chinese residents are required to have the health app, which displays a code indicating their health status, including possible exposure to COVID-19.

A green code is required to use public transportation and to enter locations such as offices, restaurants and malls. But some depositors at the banks in central Henan province said their codes were turned red to stop them.

The incident has started a national debate on how a tool designed for public health was appropriated by political forces to tamp down controversy.

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