Yet another Chinese university is implementing facial recognition on its campus. The latest to join the growing trend is Beijing's Tsinghua University, where facial recognition is being used to verify visitor identity at perimeter entrances to campus.
As reported by the South China Morning Post, the new system will require all visitors to campus to register via the “Visit Tsinghua” option on the Chinese messaging platform WeChat. The in-app program scans visitors’ faces by asking them to read out numbers while looking into their phone's camera. Users also have to provide their name and national identity card details.
In a social media post detailing the new system the university says that it introduced the biometrics system for security purposes, and that some 8,000 visitors entered the campus on the first day of the facial recognition system. Upon arrival at the campus, all visitors must now present their ID cards, and walk-ins are no longer allowed.
Tsinghua University is located to the northwest of the Beijing city centre, and is a popular destination for tourists to the area. For this reason, added security at the campus perimeter was deemed a necessity. The new system is also intended to deter scammers and unofficial tour guides that operate around the campus and try to cheat visitors out of petty cash.
Tsinghua joins a host of other Chinese institutions to have installed some form of facial recognition on campus. Neighboring Peking University and the University of Science and Technology Beijing have both installed facial recognition systems, but those programs only apply to students and faculty, not outside visitors.