The Chinese government is forcing some of the ethnic minorities to install a spyware application on their smartphones to monitor their activities while law enforcement officials warn that those who fail to comply will be detained for as long as 10 days.
The initiative was launched in Xinjiang, western China, when authorities started sending messages via WeChat to Urumqi residents, requiring smartphone users to install an Android application called Jingwang. THE role of implementation is monitoring users for possible "terrorist acts, illegal religious videos, e-books and e-documents."
Most of the inhabitants of this area belong to the Muslim minority, according to local media, and the message is broadcast on both Mandarin and Uyghur. The latter is the language spoken by the Uighur group, whose population lists 8 millions of people.
The message includes a QR code to help users download the spyware application, along with a warning that those who do not install it will be held for up to 10 days.
Authorities have warned that sample checks will be carried out in the coming weeks to ensure that everyone has an installed application and that no content that violates the law is stored. If the application is running and found content that violates the law, users should delete it.
The application can spy on almost all of the activities on the phone, recorded data, such as WeChat and Weibo talks, two of the most popular communication platforms in China.
Information, such as data Wi-Fi, IMEI data, and SIM card data are automatically collected and transferred to a government server, along with information about media files stored on the device that are controlled by digital content signatures to determine whether they are infringing the law, or linked to a terrorist activity.
Mobile espionage efforts seem to be targeting devices only Android at the moment, but iOS works on less than 10% of devices in China. Maybe later we will hear this news…