Less than a month before the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, long-distance bus drivers in Beijing reportedly have been told to wear wristbands to monitor their “psychological state” through “emotion-sensing technology.”

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the state-run Beijing Public Transport Holding Group proposed the move. The company claims the plan is to protect and improve public safety.

The South China Morning Post cited Beijing Daily on Wednesday, September 21, reporting about 1,800 wristbands were given to bus drivers on inter-province and highway routes. The report said the devices were used to monitor drivers’ real-time vital signs and emotional states to improve safety.

The plan was carried out as a pilot program back in June for bus drivers in one of Beijing’s districts. The company said on its official social network platform Weibo at the time, “The provision of wristbands is a technological means to strengthen the physical and mental health management of drivers.”

However, legal experts have raised privacy concerns about wristband abuse. They said the device could cause bus drivers unnecessary stress when being monitored, which might lead to discrimination.

Electronic wristbands have been reportedly used to monitor people as part of China’s COVID-controlled measures.

SCMP reported that in July, a complex compound in Beijing required residents to wear electronic wristbands to track body temperature when they were under home COVID quarantine. One resident refused to do so and shared the requirement online. The incident caused a public outcry, leading to the stipulation being dropped.

The Chinese regime has long been known for conducting mass surveillance systems to monitor its citizens via the internet, camera, and technologies.

According to the New York Times, China is expanding its surveillance system to monitor the Chinese people in almost all aspects of life by collecting citizens’ personal data, phone tracking, cameras, even DNA, and other means.  

The regime also uses its controversial Social Credit System to control its citizens further. The system comprises databases and initiatives that judge and grade citizens’ trustworthiness.

Each entity is accessed and then given a social credit score. The system rewards those with high ratings and punishes those with low scores.

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