Most Chinese are well aware that they are being monitored by the state’s most sophisticated system, electronic surveillance.

The emergency situation due to the coronavirus epidemic finally brought these technologies out of the shadows, giving the country’s authorities this time the opportunity to completely and legally control their citizens.

Companies working in the field of artificial intelligence and surveillance systems openly flaunt that they can scan the streets of cities and identify passers-by by their faces, even with protective masks.

If, for example, a passenger infected with a coronavirus enters a train, the system can provide a list of all the people sitting next to it. Mobile phone applications can tell users if they were near coronavirus carriers, and using maps they can familiarize with the location of the buildings in which the infected live.

If we put aside the protests in social networks, then most citizens of the Celestial Empire quite loyally perceive such an invasion of their personal life against the background of such a dangerous epidemic.

This week, the Ministry of Industry called on Chinese high-tech companies and research institutes to help fight the epidemic. Companies responded with a flurry of ads promoting the capabilities of their technology.

Thus, the company Megvii (facial recognition system) announced on Tuesday the development of a new method for the detection and identification of patients. Her new “AI temperature measurement system” monitors temperature with thermal imaging cameras and uses body and face parameters to identify people.

SenseTime, an AI company, said it has created a similar system for use at building entrances. She can even identify masked people.

In turn, the manufacturer of surveillance cameras, Zhejiang Dahua, said that their systems can detect cases with high temperature using cameras with infrared sensors with an accuracy of 0.3 ºC.