🎧 China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority

Listened China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority – podcast from the Guardian

Some of the technologies pioneered in Xinjiang have already found customers in authoritarian states as far away as sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, CloudWalk, a Guangzhou-based tech startup that has received more than $301m in state funding, finalised an agreement with Zimbabwe’s government to build a national “mass facial recognition programme” in order to address “social security issues”. (CloudWalk has not revealed how much the agreement is worth.) Freedom of movement through airports, railways and bus stations throughout Zimbabwe will now be managed through a facial database integrated with other kinds of biometric data. In effect, the Uighur homeland has become an incubator for China’s “terror capitalism”.

Darren Byler explains how smartphones and the internet gave the Uighurs a sense of their own identity – but now the Chinese state is using technology to strip them of it.

This provides another perspective to the report from Chris Buckley, Paul Moz and Austin Ramzy. This is another piece exploring the rise of surveillance capital and social credit in China.

2 responses on “🎧 China’s hi-tech war on its Muslim minority”

  1. David Stavrou paints a picture of life inside of a Xinjiang ‘reeducation’ camp. This is based on a testimony provided by Sayragul Sauytbay, a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden. Some of the harrowing aspects to come out of the account were the living conditions, medical trials and rape of those incarcerated.
    The Chinese Embassy denied these accounts and instead argued that Sauytbay was suspected of credit fraud.

    Asked to respond to Sayragul Sauytbay’s description of her experience, the Chinese Embassy in Sweden wrote to Haaretz that her account is “total lies and malicious smear attacks against China.” Sauytbay, it claimed, “never worked in any vocational education and training center in Xinjiang, and has never been detained before leaving China” – which she did illegally, it added. Furthermore, “Sayragul Sauytbay is suspected of credit fraud in China with unpaid debts [of] about 400,000 RMB” (approximately $46,000).

    However, as China has closed the region off and implemented a system of surveillance, it therefore is difficult to actually prove or disprove any sort of testimony, without it simply being discredited by the state.

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