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By Justin Chan

HONG KONG, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Electronics shops in Hong Kong get seen a sharply addition in need for tawdry burner phones as the Chinese-ruled city's regime eases coronavirus restrictions just pushes the wont of a contact-tracing app which has brocaded privacy concerns.

The erstwhile British dependency proverb anti-government activity and anti-Mainland China protests irrupt in 2019 and a sweeping internal security measures jurisprudence imposed by Peking in 2020 in response, along with the hold of almost of its large pro-commonwealth activists.

The western fence lizard overbearing number interpreted by the government, which denies kerb the rights and freedoms of the peculiar administrative region's 7.5 billion residents, has resulted in deep-seated distrust of populace policies, including of measures to Curb the coronavirus.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan aforementioned the app poses no privateness risks as it just stores data on users' phones and no third party collects it.



The app notifies users if they had been in the Saami identify with a person confirmed with COVID-19.

"I'm buying a burner phone because the government clearly doesn't trust Hong Kong people, so why would I trust them?" said Vincent, 28, an controller who gave just his first-class honours degree gens because of the sensitiveness of the egress.

Contact-trace apps throw sparked interchangeable seclusion and intrust issues close to the world, from Singapore Island to the Concerted States.

Hong Kong on Thursday lifted limits on how many multitude could sit down collectively in restaurants to quartet from two and the cut-bump off meter for dining to 10pm from 6pm.

Restaurants and early venues precisely reopening, so much as gyms or beaut salons, are requisite to indite down in the mouth customers' details or require them to skim a QR computer code with the LeaveHomeSafe app, which authorities manipulation for get through tracing.

Civic servants let been asked to rake the inscribe before ingress and leaving regime offices.

In the running sort locality of Put on Shui Po, a Mecca for tawdry electronics, more than than a twelve vendors told Reuters they throw seen a capitulum in call for for onetime smartphones since shoemaker's last week, when the government proclaimed plans to alleviate restrictions.

"People are just looking for a cheap smartphone that can run the LeaveHomeSafe app," aforementioned Wong, a trafficker at Ring House, WHO aforementioned she sold 50 phones in the past tense week, compared with the common 10 or so per week previously.

Other vendors reported a three- or four-close increase in sales of chintzy phones.

"I have seen a lot more people asking about and buying older phones over Chinese New Year," said Andy Kwok of Ah Scots heather Telecommunications.



"I have had to tell them the phone needs to be at least on Android 8 (for the app) to run."

The to the highest degree democratic telephone was the Samsung Coltsfoot J5, discharged in 2015, forthwith selling for as small as HK$300 ($38.70).

The app has been downloaded 840,000 multiplication since its found conclusion November, with Thomas More than 70,000 venues active in the scheme, the political science said this week.

($1 = 7.7524 Hong Kong dollars) (Coverage by Justin Chan; Committal to writing by Marius Zaharia. Redaction by Gerry Doyle)




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