Some of the companies listed as potential candidates for funding had technology that would enable China's surveillance state to track infected people or those who were considered at risk.
Reuters notes an incident where a camera with facial recognition technology tracked a Hangzhou man, who returned home from a business trip in Wenzhou, an area with high confirmed cases.
The man had his license plate flagged and was ordered by authorities to stay home for two weeks. But on the 12th day of self-quarantine, he decided to take a drive, was detected by facial recognition cameras for disobeying the order.
"I was a bit shocked by the ability and efficiency of the mass surveillance network. They can basically trace our movements with AI technology and big data at any time and any place," the man said.