Chinese companies using GPS tracking device smartwatches to monitor, alert street cleaners

Street cleaners in parts of China are reportedly being forced to wear GPS-tracking smartwatches so employers can monitor how hard they work, sparking public outrage and concern over increasing mass surveillance across the country.

Key points:

  • An alarm function ordering cleaners to work has reportedly been removed, but the GPS function remains
  • One company said the devices were introduced to reduce management costs
  • Analysts said the devices marked the latest Chinese trend threatening personal freedom

According to a recent Xinhua News Agency report, more than 500 street cleaners employed by the Nanjing West Bank Environmental Service are required to wear smartwatches while working.

If the smartwatch detects a worker standing still for over 20 minutes, it sounds an alarm.

“Add oil, add oil [work harder, work harder!],” the wristbands’ alarm says, several cleaners from the eastern city of Nanjing told Jiangsu Television earlier this month.

Full story here:

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