As China lifts its coronavirus lockdowns, authorities are using a color-coded health system to dictate where citizens can go. Here’s how it works.

The software is installed in WeChat and Alipay, the instant-messaging app, and Alipay, the online payment platform operated by Alibaba. Almost everyone with a smartphone in China has one or both of these apps.

In order to travel, people have to fill out a quick health survey. After that, the software issues them with a colored health code — green, yellow, or red — which dictates whether they can leave the house and where they can go.


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