WeChat was gone. So was Alipay and the shopping app Taobao. She then installed a virtual private network on her smartphone to use with the secure messaging app Telegram in an attempt to stay hidden from cyber-monitors.
Hong Kong's protesters find ways to outwit the surveillance state
Shibani Mahtani, The Washington Post
Published 6:13 pm CDT, Saturday, June 15, 2019
HONG KONG - The moment the 25-year-old protester got home from demonstrations that turned violent - tear gas still stinging her eyes - she knew what she had to do: delete all of her Chinese phone apps.
"I'm just doing anything" to stay ahead of police surveillance and hide her identity, said the protester. She asked to be referred only by her first name, Alexa, to avoid drawing the attention of authorities amid the most serious groundswell against Chinese-directed rule in Hong Kong since 2014.
Protests that expanded over the past week against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China were marked by something unprecedented: A coordinated effort by demonstrators to leave no trace for authorities and their enhanced tracking systems.