The pandemic continues to spread throughout China. To control it more closely, officials have launched many health code apps. Among them, the most strict is the “Beijing Health Care App.” The app is a pandemic prevention application launched by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Its “pop-up” function has won the China Scientific Research Prize twice.

The app pop-up function (a notification window shown on people’s phones) must be removed to allow its owner to go to public places. Following the adoption of the app by many cities, Chinese people have begun to establish “code caring” and “code cleansing” strategies, and even a unique “health code caring industry” has arisen.

According to RFA, many Beijing residents have recently had their “pop-up” experience. Once a notification appears on their phones, their travel is canceled for five to seven days. Therefore, on the internet, there are terms such as “code caring” and “code cleansing”… to find a way to keep the health code in a “green code” state, so they can go in and out of public places. (Photo 1, Photo 2)

A lively discussion around the ‘pop-ups’ topic

According to an unnamed Beijing citizen who told RFA, in Beijing, if you go to a high-risk location and contact a positive person, the “Beijing Health Care App” appears on your phone, meaning you cannot go to public places. In addition, the resident was told to quarantine at home for seven days due to going to a risky location and contacting a particular case.

She also said: “Currently, pandemic prevention policies in many places are very messy and unclear. Take Beijing as an example, every time you go to a place, you have to scan the code. If you don’t, you cannot enter. Once the code is scanned, all information is saved. Big data will be forwarded to the Office of Pandemic Prevention immediately, then the list will be classified and sent, these people will be quarantined or sent to a field hospital.”

If someone from another locality arrives in Beijing and their phone shows the notification, their freedom is restricted. For example, a report indicates that if a particular county has a COVID case, it becomes a risk area. If residents of that place want to go to other places to work, since their health code is yellow, they must go to a risk-free site for a few days and wait for the code to turn green. Only after the “pop-up” is removed can they enter Beijing or go to other places to work.

There is a lot of related discussion on social platforms, with Vision Times quoting a netizen mocking, “Today, I took a PCR test, but the pop-up is still there. So the first thing to do is code caring.” Some netizens suggested that they can send their phone SIM card to other places to “cleanse the journey.”

Journey cleansing and code caring tips for entering Beijing

Another netizen said that a “code caring industry” has quietly arisen. Once the pop-up flag is raised, for the person to return to Beijing, they need to “take care of the code” in a district or city that has not had any positive cases for seven days. For example, Zhengding County in Hebei is the first choice for “code caring” near Beijing. Because it is close, the cost is less. Also, tourism resources are abundant.

Some netizens promote, “The code caring line is here to serve you. Do you want to cleanse your code? The red, yellow, and green service packages suit business partners traveling to many places. When you pay, the green code will automatically block the pop-up.”

In this regard, some netizens protest, “I’ve been going through the newly added cities (in the risk list), and I don’t know where to take care of my code after the lockdown was lifted. Is it my fault that I don’t know many cities in China where there are no pop-ups?”

Wu Jianzhong, general secretary of the Taiwan Association for the Advancement of Taoist Strategy, said that recently many people had asked the same questions on Weibo and Zhihu. It reminds him of the “special life” under the CCP. That is, above there are policies, and below there are countermeasures. Now that this type of health code is ubiquitous, the range of medium and high-risk areas is expanding. For example, in many medium and high-risk areas such as Xining, Xinjiang, and Zhengzhou, your health code will change to “red” if you pass through those areas. And the “code caring” trend is just an act of brainstorming how to avoid the CCP’s draconian policies.

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