China to build ‘traffic-light’ method to surveil foreign journalists

by Anne Kader


The Chinese province of Henan is building a surveillance system with face-scanning technology that can detect journalists and other people of interest, surveillance analysts IPVM reports. Chinese firm Neusoft, backed by Huawei cloud services, has won a tender to build the system. It will operate like traffic lights and divide people into different categories: green, yellow, and red. Anyone labeled red would ring an alarm.


The surveillance system will be able to detect and track journalists, international students, and migrant women. It can also recognize individuals by their ethnicity, such as Uyghurs, IPVM reports. The surveillance project, which is unlike anything IPVM has previously encountered, targets journalists in a deliberate and calculated manner, states the investigation.


The Chinese government would track anyone marked red, particularly 

during politically sensitive periods, such as the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress. 


The surveillance system will receive information from cell phones, social media – such as WeChat and Weibo, vehicle details, hotel visits, travel tickets, property ownership, and photos (existing databases).


Tracking people of a specific ethnicity is already an established practice in China, according to Biometric Update, as is the tailing of foreign journalists in ‘Xinjiang’ (Uyghurstan / East Turkistan).





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