Hong Kong Sees Rush for Burner Phones as Government Pushes Contact-Tracing App

HONG KONG—Electronics shops in Hong Kong have seen a sharp increase in demand for cheap burner phones as the Chinese-ruled city’s government eases coronavirus restrictions but pushes the use of a contact-tracing app which has raised privacy concerns. The former British colony saw anti-government and anti-China protests erupt in 2019 and a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020, along with the arrest of most of its prominent pro-democracy activists. The swift authoritarian turn taken by the government on its 7.5 million residents has resulted in deep-seated mistrust of public policies, including measures to curb the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Health Secretary Sophia Chan said the app poses no privacy risks as it only stores data on users’ phones and no third party collects it. The app notifies users if they had been in the same place with a person confirmed with the CCP virus. “I’m buying …

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