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Beijing Police Launch an App Where You Can Report Crimes with a Click of a Button

2017-02-16 19:23:28 Haley Liu

On Monday, the official police of Chaoyang district confirmed the release of an app, "Chaoyang qunzhong" where whistleblowers can report suspected illegal behaviour. As an initiative it was warmly welcomed by media: on Weibo, leading news channels such as CCTV received nearly 800 comments related to the news, Sina Showbiz with 500, and The Paper with more than 15,000.

Screenshot of "Chaoyang qunzhong" app's front page

The key reason for the app’s popularity is because it is named after the famous crime-busters, "Chaoyang qunzhong", which translates as the residents of Chaoyang that have been frequently cited by Beijing police authorities.

Chaoyang, as a district is the largest and most prosperous area in Beijing, covering an area of 470 square kilometres,and home to the country’s embassies, financial centres, and high-end residential and commercial buildings. As residents they have a record of providing lots of key tip-offs which has helped police to crack down on major crimes such as drugging, prostitution and trafficking. Netizens has jokingly referred to them as "the fifth largest intelligence agency in the world", behind the US’s CIA, Russia’s KGB, Israel’s Mossad, and the UK’s MI6.

Cartoon image of Chaoyang qunzhong: a young and fashionable man witha smartphone, detective glasses and microphone. He is saying "I love Beijing, love Chaoyang. I am safeguarding Chaoyang security."

Jackie Chan’s son, Jaycee Chan drug crimes was reported by "Chaoyang qunzhong", and he was subsequentlyarrested in August 2014. Asides from him, household celebrity names in China, singers and actors such as Song Dongye, Li Daimo, Wang Xuebing, Gao Hu, Huang Haibo, Ning Caishen were busted for drugs or prostitution thanks for the useful information offered by the group.

The history of "Chaoyang qunzhong" is said to date back to 1974 when residents worked with police to net spies from Soviet Union, reports the People’s Daily. In recent years, the nickname has been reused. At first, it was only used jokingly, but now even official news outlets such as Xinhua News Agency and People's Daily have begun to use it as an official term.

After registering on the app which is connected via your mobile number, users can click the red button to report information about suspected child trafficking, criminal suspects, missing persons, traffic violation, lost and found and other crimes by uploading text, videos and photos.

Major functions of the app: to report on child trafficking, suspects, missing persons, traffic violations, lost and found, and other crimes

The official Weibo account of Chaoyang police "@ping'an Chaoyang" confirmed that they have developed the app to strengthen the relationship between police and residents and help "Chaoyang qunzhong" play a better role in fighting crimes.

Chaoyang police confirmed on Weibo that they launched the app

The app was released on last August and has been upgraded four times. Today it's still in testing stage. The app can be downloaded from Apple Store. Many citizens have hailed the app as a great idea. Some said: "Speaking of Chaoyang, I only admire qunzhong." Internet user "CH Chenqian" is more concerned about the reaction of celebrities, "next day's newspaper leading story: A Flock of Film Stars and Singers Move Away from Beijing Chaoyang."

("I've called the police.")

China owes "Chaoyang qunzhong" an award

We need the app everywhere, not only in Chaoyang. We could upload information the minute we witness illegal parking, running the red light, fighting, etc.) (The app could already be used to report these

Next day's newspaper leading story: a flock of film stars and singers move away from Beijing Chaoyang

Not only does it allow users to report suspected illegal behaviours anonymously, but netizens doubt whether the app can fully protect the whistleblowers' personal information and ensure their safety is not compromised. As it only takes minutes to fill a report, the workload of police is sure to increase, much time has to be taken for verification and investigation. Some people worry that it might lead to a waste of police resources. Until present, Chaoyang police has not responded to the concerns. In the past few years, Beijing police have stepped up efforts in mobilizing residents to fight crimes such as terrorism. In Chaoyang district, any whistleblower will be rewarded at least 1,000 yuan for a tip-off, and there is no upper limit for rewards.

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