"China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren’t many. Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events. Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics. In fact, the government routinely uses cameras to monitor and intimidate dissidents. Human rights activists worry that more surveillance will erode the freedom of ordinary people and undermine what little ability they have to question their rulers."
In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You : NPR