Chinese startup CloudWalk providing facial recognition services to Bank of China

Chinese startup CloudWalk Technology Co. Ltd. is providing facial recognition services to the Bank of China at counters in its Beijing headquarters as well as through its online banking system and mobile app, according to a report by Sixth Tone.

Instead of having to visit the bank branch in person to open an account, customers can simply take a photo of their ID card and upload it to the bank’s app, look into the camera of their smartphone, and wait for the facial recognition feature to scan for comparison and authentication.

Wang Ying, a market research specialist at data consultancy Analysys, said the the value of China’s facial recognition market exceeded 1 billion yuan (US$151 million) in 2016, making it one of the largest in the world. The market could potentially hit 5.1 billion yuan (US$770.1 million) in 2021.

Founded in April 2015 by Zhou Xi, CloudWalk was the only facial recognition firm invited to help set facial recognition application standards for the industry, the central government, and China’s Ministry of Public Security.

Earlier this year, CloudWalk became one of only four AI companies added to a draft list of key internet-related projects issued by the National Development and Reform Commission.

In July it was revealed that CloudWalk is developing a controversial AI system designed to predict the probability of a crime occurring, in order to allow law enforcement to prevent the act from ever happening.

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