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Some pilgrims from China are wearing ‘smart cards’ to ensure their safety, but rights activists say the tracking devices are government overreach

China has turned the northwestern region of Xinjiang into a vast experiment in domestic surveillance. WSJ investigated what life is like in a place where one's every move can be monitored with cutting-edge technology. Video: Clément Bürge/WSJ; Image: DeepGlint
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BEIJING—China’s close watch over its Islamic minority is being extended abroad, as Muslims from some Chinese regions make the Hajj pilgrimage wearing state-issued tracking devices.

The state-run China Islamic Association published photos of Chinese Muslims at the Beijing airport departing for Mecca in Saudi Arabia in recent days wearing customized “smart cards” on blue lanyards around their necks. The devices, which include a GPS tracker and personal data, are designed to ensure the wearer’s safety, according to the association.

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