Looking for a job as a go-go dancer? You better have your digital health paperwork in order. In WeChat groups, promoters are asking would-be go-go dancers to provide health code and travel history. It’s a sign of how deeply digital tracking has permeated Chinese society.

Group chats in China often include posts for English teachers. In some, a little harder to find, you will find advertisements for go-go dancer and KTV girls positions. One recruiter looking for women to dance in clubs in Aksu in Xinjiang, and Longyan in Fujian, had one strict requirement: Applicants must show a green health QR code on WeChat or Alipay. 

Government authorities at the border require the QR code to enter the provinces, the recruiter said. For the position in Xinjiang, the QR code is not enough. Applicants must also produce a fresh virus tracing test. 

The same recruiter also required health codes for KTV girls, women who are paid to accompany men at karaoke bars, in Guizhou and Guangxi, provinces in southwest China. 

TechNode got in touch with the recruiter to verify the ads and find out exactly how important the health codes are. He had no questions about our reporter’s ability to dance or looks, only their ability to show the coveted green QR code.

People with recent history of travel to Hubei, Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, will need to be quarantined in Xinjiang, he said. 

It’s not just the go-go dancers that must prove their health to participate in the club’s shenanigans, the recruiter said. Club patrons must also show a health code before entering the party. 

Go-go dancers are people who dance in skimpy outfits in clubs to get the party going. The recruiter specified that this job does not involve “consummation,” whereas for KTV girls he left it open.

QR codes might be on the decline in Shanghai, but in the rest of China, they are a key tool for controlling the Covid-19 pandemic—and keeping the go-go dancing industry safe.

Eliza is TechNode's community listening reporter at the Shanghai office. She acts as a link between the editorial team and TechNode Squared members. She previously worked as a reporter for WikiTribune...