Just before the Lunar New Year, Baidu launched a heat map tracking trips made by Chinese travelers during Chunyun, and now the same technology has been applied to another mass migration: people who are getting the hell out of Dongguan after the huge prostitution bust that went down earlier this week.
The crackdown in China’s “capital of sex” led to the suspension of two police chiefs and the shuttering of 12 “entertainment venues”. Thousands of people involved fled the city—fast—leaving some delightfully kinky and incriminating evidence in their wake.
According to Asia Sentinel:
It is estimated that 10 percent of the floating population of the sprawling factory city of 7 million people are engaged in the world’s oldest profession. By one estimate anywhere from 500,000 to 800,000 people are in some way employed in the sex trade. A staggering 300,000 sex workers, known locally as “technicians” according to the South China Morning Post, are thought to ply their trade in thousands of side-street massage parlors, exclusive hotels, spas and neon-lit karaoke bars. […]
[The crackdown] prompted an exodus from the city in all directions – although, according to Baidu’s heat map, a full quarter of the departures headed for Hong Kong in a hurry. According to the Tech in Asia website, Baidu gathers data from smartphones with Baidu Maps and other apps using its location-based platform to create the heat map. Baidu Maps alone has more than 200 million registered users and receives 3.5 million position requests every day, according to Tech in Asia. The heat map updates every four to eight hours, showing the most popular destinations, points of origin, and travel routes.
[via The Nanfang]