Xiaozhu, China’s answer to Airbnb, plans to step up the introduction of facial recognition-enabled smart door locks to help verify the identities of tenants as part of a broader effort to improve safety and security in the country’s booming home sharing industry.
The six-year-old company, which runs one of China’s biggest home-sharing sites, said on Monday it plans to install facial recognition-enabled door locks in 80% of its listings in southwest China’s Chengdu city, its second largest market by revenue, over the next year.
Apart from wider adoption of “face-scan check-in” to verify user’s identities, Xiaozhu announced other measures to upgrade safety and security, including equipping more apartments with smoke detectors, gas alarms and burglar alarms. It is also setting up a blacklist of tenants who misbehave during their stay at hosts’ homes.
The plan to improve safety and security is in line with the Chinese government’s tighter control over home-sharing, mainly for state security reasons. Zhejiang is the first province in the country that will require all home-sharing platforms and short-term rental firms to submit information on apartments for rent, including host and guest names, to the local public security authority, starting from January 1, 2019.
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