The Chinese city of Hangzhou is considering proposals to make the smartphone-based coronavirus health tracking system permanent, expanding it to include factors such as how much sleep citizens are getting, how much alcohol they drink, and how frequently they exercise.
Use of the health-tracking app is winding down as the Chinese government claims to have the coronavirus under control, but Hangzhou – a city of about ten million that sits about an hour away from Shanghai by train and prides itself on tech innovations, serving as the headquarters for the immense Alibaba corporation – may keep the system online permanently as a means of tracking and controlling the health of every resident.
Indeed, Technode noted on Tuesday that the Hangzhou proposals already make the health code system far more complex than the traffic-light ratings employed during the pandemic, giving each citizen a “sliding-scale numerical score” whose calculations will not be entirely transparent to the general population.
The score can be affected by your daily activities: 15,000 steps of daily exercise will increase your score by 5 points, 200 milliliters of baijiu — a sorghum-based Chinese liquor known for its high alcohol content — will lower your score by 1.5 points, five cigarettes will cost you 3 points, and 7.5 hours of sleep will add one point to your score, the demonstration shows.
According to CNN, Chinese social media users are apprehensive about the Hangzhou proposal, voicing concerns about privacy and the potential for unfair treatment by the system.