China Is Collecting DNA From Tens of Millions of Men and Boys

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China Is Collecting DNA From Tens of Millions of Men and Boys
Short Title Authorities in China Collecting DNA Samples From Millions of Men and Boys Across The Country to Build a Genetic Map
Location China
Date September 2020

Solove Harm Interrogation, Decisional Interference
Information Medical and Health, Family, Identifying, Demographic
Threat Actors Chinese officials, Law Enforcement

Affected Chinese men and boys
High Risk Groups
Tangible Harms

Millions of men and boys in China are pressed into giving blood samples to build a sweeping genetic database.


The police in China are collecting blood samples from men and boys from across the country to build a genetic map of its roughly 700 million males.

Journalists and researchers claim the project is a major escalation of China’s efforts to use genetics to control its people, which had been focused on tracking ethnic minorities and other, more targeted groups. The police say they need the database to catch criminals and that donors consent to handing over their DNA. Some officials within China, as well as human rights groups outside its borders, warn that a national DNA database could invade privacy and tempt officials to punish the relatives of dissidents and activists. Rights activists argue that the collection is being done without consent because citizens living in an authoritarian state have virtually no right to refuse. Such information collection is an example of Interrogation.

One person told the media, that the authorities told him “if blood wasn’t collected, they would be listed as a ‘black household,’” and it would deprive him and his family of benefits like the right to travel and go to a hospital. This is an example of Decisional Interference.

The campaign even involves schools.


Threat: Chinese officials asking men and boys to give samples of their DNA to build a national genetic map
At-Risk group: Chinese men and boys
Harm: Interrogation
Secondary Consequences: not known

Threat: Chinese officials threatening men and boys to take the benefits like right to travel away if they dont give their DNA samples
At-Risk group: Chinese men and boys
Harm: Decisional Interference
Secondary Consequences: not known

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