Red alert as bank depositors denied access to money
Since April this year, some depositors found it difficult to withdraw online the money they had entrusted with four rural joint-stock commercial banks located in Shangcai, Yuzhou, Zhecheng and Kaifeng in Henan Province.
When they tried to straighten things out by going to Kaifeng, or Zhengzhou, capital of the central Chinese province, they got alerts that their health code had turned red, suggesting they were in the midst of quarantine or home isolation, and as such were to be put into isolation immediately on arriving at their destinations.
Some still had green health code on arrival in Zhengzhou, but after they were identified as depositors with grievances to air, hey presto, their health code turned red and they had to stay put.
A depositor in Shenzhen also had a red code, traced to Henan, despite being in the Guangdong Province city all the time.
Health code is a measure devised solely for anti-pandemic purpose.
Hu Xijin, a veteran media professional and an online influencer, commented that "I wish to remind you that health code should serve only the purpose of pandemic prevention, and under no circumstances should local governments abuse it for social governance purposes inconsistent with the stated objective of pandemic control."
Hu added further that "if any local government seeks to restrict the mobility of a special group of people by having their health code manipulated for other purposes, this represents a blatant violation of relevant laws on pandemic control, will detract from the authenticity of the health code, and will undermine public support for pandemic prevention measures."
Hu concluded that this violation goes against the general aim of comprehensive social governance.
In a recent commentary carried on China Comment, it was also observed that this willful abuse of government authority, by eroding the legitimate use of health code, is disrupting the anti-pandemic fight in general.
The commentary demanded thorough investigation as to the exact procedures that had elicited this unusual red health code, and who had authorized this.
In a broader context, the case also sheds new light on the many ramifications of data security and protection of privacy.
Other reports suggested the four rural banks be investigated for misappropriating funds from depositors for fraudulent purposes.