Xinjiang launches app to receive security tip-offs

2017-04-28 00:46:08 GMT2017-04-28 08:46:08(Beijing Time) Global Times

The public security bureau in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, launched a mobile app to encourage locals to report security threats, which was hailed by experts as an innovative move toward multi-dimensional anti-terrorism work in the region.

The app named baixing anquan, meaning "safety for the public," was officially launched on Tuesday, aiming to better safeguard social stability and security, xinjiangnet.com.cn reported.

Urumqi citizens can upload texts, pictures and video clips onto the app if they notice any suspicious activity that might pose a threat to social stability and security, said Huang Bo, an investigator at the city's public security bureau, the report added.

 "Safeguarding security and stability takes more than police, and the app is an innovative step in the multi-dimensional fight against terrorism, and will achieve good results," a Beijing-based criminal investigation expert surnamed Liu told the Global Times.

Tip-offs will be rewarded with cash, while the source of such information will be protected automatically, read an advertisement released on the Urumqi police's official WeChat account on Thursday.

The app is currently only available on android systems, in both simplified Chinese and Uyghur languages.

The app can only be activated after users submit their real names, identification card numbers, and details related to job or occupation.

"Everyone with this app can contribute to the cause of safeguarding social security and stability … I feel empowered and more involved," a local businesswoman told the Global Times on Thursday on condition of anonymity.

"In particular, the source protection mechanism makes me feel safe," said the woman.

The details of how the city police will process these citizen reports have not been disclosed.

When asked if such apps could encourage people to spy on each other, or even to frame someone up, Liu said that "Nowadays, the phone number registration requires real name, and so does the app. That provides double security to prevent the abuse of the app."

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