Beijing to use facial recognition to combat illegal subletting in public housing
China Knowledge Online
Dec 28, 2018

Dec 28, 2018 (China Knowledge) - Beijing is putting in place more facial recognition-enabled smart locks in its public housing to crackdown on the practice of illegal subletting in the city.

The new facial recognition locks are expected to cover all of Beijing’s public housing projects by June 2019 and involve a total of 120,000 tenants. The use of these locks will not only cut down illegal subletting but also improve security in these public housing areas.

The use of facial recognition locks is the latest in a series of facial recognition technology Chinese authorities plan to introduce to improve law enforcement in the country. A number of cities in China have already implemented facial recognition cameras to catch jaywalkers.

Currently, the facial recognition locks have already been installed in 47 public housing projects with 100,000 facial scans of tenants and their family member already having been collected. In addition, this system can also help estate management to better look out for elderly residents who are living alone by sending an alert if the senior resident has not left home for an extended period of time.

Beijing has been ramping up its efforts to crackdown on illegal subletting to ensure these housing resources are only allocated to those who genuinely need it. The average monthly rental for a flat in Beijing is about RMB 5,000 while for public housing, it can be under RMB 2,000 monthly.

Those caught engaging in illegal subletting will be barred from low-income housing for 5 years.

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