Face++, a Beijing-based facial recognition technology startup, is now valued at roughly a billion dollars. Technology from Face++ is being used in several apps such as Alipay, a mobile app used by more than 120 million people in China, and Didi, China’s dominant ride-hailing company. Baidu, which operates China’s most popular search engine, is developing a system that lets people pick up train tickets by showing their face.
The technology is expanding quickly in China for surveillance and convenience purposes. As the Chinese government has a large centralized database of ID card photos, officials are using software to identify suspected criminals with video surveillance cameras. Also, to tackle the problem of toilet paper theft from public bathrooms, Beijing is using facial recognition at some tourist sites to limit the amount of toilet paper that each person can take. One of China’s top universities installed scanners with facial recognition technology in a female dormitory. In a different university, a lecturer is using the technology on his students to check on the boredom levels in class.
Alibaba’s $60bn payments arm stalls planned IPO / Financial Times (paywall)
“The blockbuster listing of Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, has been put on ice until the end of next year at the earliest, according to bankers.”
Former U.S. trade representative argues for renegotiation with China / WSJ (paywall)
“Charlene Barshefsky accuses President Xi Jinping of accelerating reversals in liberalizing changes.” Hear more from Ambassador Barshefsky on last week’s Sinica Podcast.
- Mobile payments charge up McDonald’s, Starbucks in China / Caixin (paywall)
- China looks overseas for designers to build brands / Bloomberg
- Coffee, classical music and wrestling celebrate Chinese infrastructure / WSJ (paywall)
- Malaysia’s AirAsia to launch China budget carrier unit / Nikkei Asian Review
- China increases U.S. Treasury holdings by most in two years / Bloomberg
- Yum China to buy majority stake in delivery services firm Daojia / Reuters
- The global market for wine: China leads the emergence of a new world order / The Conversation