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Wall pass n°100 – Sanitary passes, BYD & electric vehicles, infrastructures

Wall pass n°100 – Sanitary passes, BYD & electric vehicles, infrastructures


We celebrate the 100th Wall Pass, launched more than two years ago. This is an opportunity to thank you for reading us week after week. This 100th issue also marks the end of the season, since successively, your editors allow themselves a few vacations. We will meet you at the start of the school year for new editions!

Le Passe Muraille is a weekly newsletter dedicated to Chinese news. It is not intended to be exhaustive, but representative of subjects that agitate the Chinese world but do not receive attention in the French-speaking world. From one world to another, through the walls, we bring you unique information. Attentive to your needs, do not hesitate to send us your comments and feedback, by email

Good reading!

Noah & Pierre

Policy & society


Towards a national health pass ?

The end of one system or the beginning of a new one ?

Three weeks ago, misuse of codes QR used for epidemic control by local authorities in Henan has sparked a series of discussions and reforms around the sustainability of the system. The first updates come from the State Council which amended its mechanism : so far, its national tracing system distinguished neighborhoods in a city where an infection was reported from the rest of it. Concretely, this functionality was often used as a pretext for local authorities who could thus turn back any arrival from an “infected” city, even if the person does not live in the affected neighborhood. To compare, a resident of Drancy would be turned back from Lyon because a case would have been detected in Bourg-la-Reine. Be careful however, these adjustments are not intended to “relax” the zero-COVID policy, but to prevent abuse local authorities.


Above all, this development only concerns a sanitary pass system, in this case the most “simplified” of all and the only one unified on a national scale. Therefore arises the question : why there is no single, unified national health pass ? Recalling that QR codes were built locally, provinces have theoretically entered into mutual recognition agreements (Shanghai pledging to recognize the Beijing system, for instance), the authorities, however, have been trying for two years to “force the centralization of the system” by asking local authorities to share their data.

However, this desire comes up against several problems. : the first is that of the IT infrastructure. If many QR codes were designed by the same company group – foremost of which AliCloud – the ever-increasing data flow requires significant storage capacity. Furthermore, political conflicts complicate matters : maintaining zero COVID being a priority for executives, it is easier to do “too much” in terms of epidemic prevention than to take the risk of an outbreak in your region. Since then, restricting travel is “safer” than trusting neighboring provinces. Even more fundamentally, experts point out that a coherent epidemic management policy is necessarily “global”, and therefore involves clarifying the responsibilities of each department. A challenge in view of the bureaucratic struggles in China.

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