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Videos: Chinese gov’t drones flying outside windows enforce lockdowns throughout China

Xi Jinping speaks to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 28, 2017. (Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)
October 17, 2022

Chinese authorities have been increasingly using drones to enforce the country’s strict lockdown measures.

A video taken on Aug. 17 in the China’s Wuxi City showed a drone hovering between a row of apartments, broadcasting orders for people to remain in their homes.

“Wuxi City. Zhejiang Province. August 17th,” a Twitter user said in a caption for the video. “A drone appears: ‘This Community is in total lockdown now! Stay in your room!'”

The same Twitter user shared another video from Aug. 28 of residents in the Chinese city of Chengdu screaming from their balconies over the lockdown measures.

Two days later, on Aug. 30, another drone was heard hovering through the streets of Chengdu broadcasting the message, “This Community is in total lockdown now! Stay in your room!”

In another video posted on Sept. 1, a police drone flew over the streets of China’s Hainan Island broadcasting the message, “Stay in your room unless it’s your turn to take daily routine COVID test (you can go downstairs) , Otherwise we will arrest you!”

These videos provide a glimpse into life under lockdown in China.

These incidents are not the first time China employed drones to broadcast lockdown orders.

In April, a video emerged of a Chinese drone broadcasting a message chastising the residents of Shanghai for protesting the lack of supplies they were receiving during COVID-19 lockdowns.

That drone broadcast the message, “Please comply with covid restrictions. Control your soul’s desire for freedom. Do not open the window or sing.”

While China has used these drones to assist its COVID lockdown measures, they have also relied on old-fashion human muscle to enforce their lockdowns. Other videos taken in Shanghai and other areas in China earlier this year showed police in white hazmat suits beating people who broke their lockdowns.

Chinese cities have also constructed COVID lockdown facilities with cells to physically contain people.