Facial recognition becomes the norm every day
Although in some areas, privacy issues have prompted the slow development of facial recognition technology. But in China, many people are used to scanning faces every day. From payment to visiting residential areas, student dormitories, hotels and other places, facial scans are often required.
For decades, this technology has been used to solve a long-term problem, namely the frequent theft of toilet paper from the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. These public toilets are now equipped with automatic paper dispensers that can recognize the user's face and prevent frequent entry.
More importantly, Alibaba's online payment service Ant Financial has launched a new feature, and its 450 million subscribers can access its online wallet through Selfie.
The Chinese people’s preference for this technology helped create the world’s first facial recognition “unicorn” Face++ in Beijing. The platform raised US$100 million in the third round of financing in December 2016, worth more than 1 billion dollars.
Although the basic artificial intelligence research behind facial recognition technology in China is similar to that in Europe and America, China is still in a leading position in terms of commercial applications.
Chinese face recognition start-ups have also received positive feedback: the more widely used their technology, the better they will become.
In addition, facial recognition technology may also be abused. Unlike fingerprints, facial recognition can be performed passively, which means that users may not even know that they are being tested. The Chinese government has applied facial recognition technology to surveillance cameras in railway stations to alert the police to passengers who are prohibited from traveling.
By supplementing government identification systems, China's future biometric (including facial recognition) market is expanding. China has the world's largest national ID card photo database, with more than 1 billion photos. In addition, the Chinese have become accustomed to inserting ID cards into chip readers to set up mobile phone numbers, purchase air tickets and stay in hotels. China is also the first country in the world to embed radio frequency identification in its ID card.