An Alipay logo is seen among other paying method stickers on the doors of a restaurant at the Beijing Railway Station in central Beijing January 13, 2017.

China is becoming a testing ground for facial recognition technology

150 million

About 150 million users of Alibaba’s mobile payment platform Alipay in China have used facial recognition to approve financial transactions.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Damir Sagolj
An Alipay logo is seen among other paying method stickers on the doors of a restaurant at the Beijing Railway Station in central Beijing January 13, 2017.
150 million

Only in recent years and thanks to artificial intelligence, facial recognition became accurate to the point it can be used in financial transactions.

An Alipay logo is seen among other paying method stickers on the doors of a restaurant at the Beijing Railway Station in central Beijing January 13, 2017.
150 million

And the technology is flourishing in China, where the government keeps a database with identification photos of the population, and privacy concerns are more malleable.

An Alipay logo is seen among other paying method stickers on the doors of a restaurant at the Beijing Railway Station in central Beijing January 13, 2017.
150 million

Ride-sharing firm Didi uses facial recognition to identify drivers. And Baidu uses it to recognize buyers collecting rail tickets in pick-up points.

Published

Check out more stories below—and please take a quick three-minute survey to help us improve.

Share this story

home our picks popular latest obsessions search