Stamping Chinese banknotes with censorship-busting QR codes


I would suspect the gov’t could easily co-opt this, and direct the user to a site that alerts the authorities.

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Yet while you need a smartphone to scan these stamps, the rising use of smartphones is making cash transactions themselves increasingly unnecessary.

You don’t actually see many 1 yuan notes in cities any more, as they aren’t worth that much (about $0.15) and there’s also a coin in that denomination that’s more commonly used.

“suspected to be the work of Falun Gong”? Hmm, a report in the Falun Gong newspaper about messages stamped on money, a common Falun Gong technique, and the stamps link to software developed and distributed by Falun Gong members … doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.

1 RMB notes are common in every city I travel to. Everyone I know prefers a pocket full of paper to a pocket full of coins. But the 1/2 and 1/10 RMB notes … those you almost can’t give away.

Everywhere except Shanghai. I always found it interesting how immediately after the May and October mass holiday migrations, there’d be a week or two where I’d get 1RMB notes as change, then back to coins for the rest of the year.

Yeah, a lot of us Westerners get our impression of China from Shanghai. Shanghai is a bit different than the rest of China. I work in Pudong sometimes. Shanghai seems to barely acknowledge its existence, much less the rest of China. I spend most of my time in secondary and tertiary cities, so sometimes think I “know” China. Yet every time I turn the corner, it’s another WTF moment.

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Or simply make any bank notes that have been defaced non-legal tender.

Shenyang didn’t have many notes either, but the smaller cities around it would. They get really tatty after a while, so maybe you don’t see them much where most people use banks and buy things in supermarkets.

Shouldn’t the report include a clearer picture of the QR code, or the plaintext of the QR code? I’d be interested in fetching the evasion software/spyware/whatever it is, and trying it in a sandbox. I wonder if it matters where you download it from.

Here you go:

Bruce Sterling’s leaking again.

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