On Tuesday, September 13, China approved the so-called “Automatic Nucleic Acid Detection Platform.” The news shows up on Weibo’s hot search. The comment section was quickly muted as it raised widespread netizens’ reactions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading for three years, and the number of victims has decreased. Currently, most countries have adopted the strategy of coexistence with COVID to reduce the impact on people’s lives. But China still uses the extreme model of “locking down the entire city with only a few cases” to curb the pandemic. At the same time, they force the Chinese people to take regular nucleic acid tests, which is a heavy burden for people and their household economy, causing widespread complaints.

According to “Shangguan News,” China’s State Food and Drug Administration has approved the Xiaoqinggeng fully automatic nucleic acid detection platform manufactured by Shanghai Zhijiang Bio. The device weighs only 45 kg. It can be placed on a desk, does not require anyone to be on duty, and can automatically perform the entire nucleic acid analysis process. 

The R&D team claims that the platform can finish analyzing 48 samples in 2 hours. For example, if it uses the 20-to-1 solution, it can finish at least 960 samples in 2 hours.

This testing machine has entered Weibo’s hottest search list, but the censorship was not long in the coming. 

The “Economic Observer” comment section on Weibo showed almost all negative comments. 

One netizen mocked the new platform, saying:

“It’s amazing, keep working toward the goal of nucleic acid testing in the next 100 years.”

Others question the underlying motive behind this machine, and the huge profits related to COVID tests, saying:

“Companies that can develop such equipment basically follow the political trends of the top decision-makers. Otherwise, the cost risk is huge, so I want to ask [the dear company]: How long is the virus going to spread?”

“It’s not clear how long the virus has been circulating, but nucleic acids, health codes and travel codes will definitely accompany everyone here for a lifetime. Because these things are very useful, they can make money and they can control you.”

“The bigger the pandemic-related industry chain, the more uncontrollable the epidemic will be.” 

“It’s really amazing, because you will spend a part of your free time for the rest of your life doing nucleic acid tests.”

“It [China] used to be a real estate powerhouse and can now be renamed a nucleic acid powerhouse instead.” 

“The pandemic is a business for some people.”

Huang Wansheng is an alumnus of the Visiting Research Scholar program at Harvard. 

In March, a recording of his conversation at a private gathering in China was leaked online. He said that a project called “Technology Epidemic Prevention” has been set up by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. In July 2020, during the pandemic peak, top Chinese leaders spent 170,000 yuan or about $24.000 to buy Huang Wansheng’s plane ticket back to China so he could lead the project.

He said:

“Our leaders’ gloves and family members get their hands on the nucleic acid reagents. As long as there are one or two cases, the entire region and the whole people will be tested for nucleic acid. What they want is the number of nucleic acid tests, and only the number of nucleic acid tests to be as large as possible, can they be profitable.”
Huang Wansheng disclosed that a certain group made 670 billion yuan or $96 billion through nucleic acid alone.

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