More and more governments in the West, including in the Netherlands, are preparing the use of health and contact tracing smartphone applications in order to counter COVID-19. The introduction of such technologies evokes complex and important questions on their efficacy, the potential impact on privacy and fundamental rights, and the extent to which this provides a precedent for greater interference into personal lives in the future. These questions are, however, not exclusive to Europe: Asian governments have equally rolled out app-based public health initiatives. Given their earlier exposure to the COVID-19, they are further advanced in addressing these questions, albeit with strong influence from domestic political and cultural considerations. As such, they provide useful insights for European public health policymakers, but also an interesting window into these locations’ ability to manage crises and the extent to which they are able to to conceptualise and implement technology-based solutions. Therefore, the LeidenAsiaCentre has surveyed situations in Mainland China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan and Singapore, which has resulted in an extensive report.