18 April 2007

I always check WeirdAsiaNews for new ideas for stories. Since they rarely link to original Chinese language articles, it usually sends me out searching for the source and I find some other goodies along the way. Take this picture they posted recently of policeman in Chongqing:

Yup, he and one hundred of his comrades are sporting cameras on their heads for “evidence collection”. The article even even makes reference to cameras being used for what is apparently a Chongqing TV version of COPS called 《110在现场》, or 110 on the Scene.

Finding this, though, sent me through a Baidu search that uncovered another article saying that Guangdong PSB and security bureaus have 800,000 security cameras, or electronic eyes, and will have 1,000,000 by next year (imagine how many nationwide, though Guangdong is probably one of the leading provinces considering its wealth). And Guangzhou has this high tech looking 5 million RMB command center:

Another story
says that in neighboring Guangzhou, there’s been some sort of arrangement where private companies install and maintain highway surveillance cameras, and then collect a percentage of traffic fines as a return on investment - and you thought just the department having to make quota was bad, think how many tickets you have to issue to bulk up Li Highway Surveillance Holdings’ bottom line? The Guangdong government has said this ain’t proper.

Meanwhile, in the Shenzhen district of Longgang, a 50,000 camera network nicknamed, apparently with unintended irony, “SkyNet” (天网) has caught jewel thieves and the murderers of a second-hand cell phone salesman.

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