In Guangzhou, due to a pandemic prevention order, the subway stop for public buses was skipped. Local netizens began leaving messages in Cantonese, to avoid censorship and cursed authorities. A few days ago, several metro stations in Guangzhou launched “reverse code scanning,” which caused congestion and brought attention to why there is increased swearing in Cantonese.
On September 6, the official Weibo account of the Guangzhou Metro subway announced that they will implement a batch code scan to enter the station and some major stations will require a “reverse code scan.” That means, passengers with a health code can check the code on the device located at the station door, and can only enter the station after the display displays an enter signal. Normally, when you have a satisfactory health code, you just need to scan the code and you are admitted, that’s called scanning the code forward.
As the Chinese Communist Party vigorously enforcing the zero COVID policy, scanning QR codes has become the standard for Chinese people on the go. When going in and out of public places, there are different QR codes that people need to scan with their mobile phones, including health codes, travel codes, and location codes. Scanning registers personal information in a particular public place, while health codes mainly include information such as the results of an individual’s COVID test.
On September 8, the Guangzhou subway began to deploy code scanning to enter the station. At most stations, those entering the station need to scan the location code to enter. Some stations have installed QR code scanners and people need to swipe a health code when entering and leaving the station.
The official media claims that “reverse code scanning” helps the elderly “bridge the digital divide.” But in reality, according to NTDTV, subway stations are packed with people, and the scanning codes to enter the station create congestion. If one person can’t scan the code, one hundred people will be delayed, which has sparked criticism.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), many netizens described the chaos caused by the “reverse scan codes.” Some people said that as soon as they left work, they saw a long line of people at the subway entrance waiting to scan the code, and people around were swearing. Some people also said that they had to scramble to scan the code. After scanning, they had to jostle each other to get into the station. Sometimes there was a crowd of people around the code scanner, some people said the code had expired, some people swiped “Scanning can’t go” making everyone unable to move.
Local netizens expressed their frustration on social media platforms. Many were retweets with swearing in Cantonese, and the sensitive phrase “Where there is oppression, there is resistance.” Because the comments are circulated in Cantonese, many messages have successfully escaped censorship. One Weibo user said that the Guangzhou subway has “clearly shown the whole country that swearing in the local language (Cantonese) is trending.”
The text in Cantonese in this picture is, “Where there is oppression, there is resistance. When the country is a mess, it is our responsibility to speak up. The national language censorship system hinders you, but my language system belongs to the people of the world, if you shout in your mother tongue, even if you curse them, you will still get to the top of the search.”
According to reports, at the end of last month, Haizhou District in Guangzhou was closed. Subways and buses began a no stop at the Haizhou District point. And when the bus’s skipped this stop it caused an “army of bicycles” to appear in the area. At the same time, many netizens started cursing people in Cantonese, and words like “self-governing Cantonese” appeared.
The text in this picture says, “Cantonese Autonomous Cantonese can also use their Cantonese language.”
The zero COVID policy has become more and more frantic, so much so that it was derided as the “second cultural revolution.” There are also some netizens who think that this is the second “Great Leap Forward” movement.