FB pixel

Chinese province to use facial recognition to track foreign journalists and others

Chinese province to use facial recognition to track foreign journalists and others

Chinese firm Neusoft, backed by Huawei’s cloud services, has won a tender from the government of China’s central Henan province to build a facial recognition system to detect and track journalists, foreign students and migrant women as well as following individuals by ethnicity including Uyghurs, report surveillance analysts IPVM and Reuters.

“The surveillance project, which is unlike anything IPVM has previously encountered, targets journalists in a deliberate and calculated manner,” states the investigation. The language used in the tender for ‘dealing with’ journalists detected by the facial recognition system suggests physical intervention.

The tender was posted in July 2021, days after a public backlash against coverage of flooding in Henan by foreign journalists where online commentators called for information to locate the reporters.

The RMB 5 million (US$782,000) facial recognition contract was awarded to Chinese tech firm Neusoft. Reuters reports that the firm has two months to fulfil the contract but could not verify whether the 3,000-camera system was already operational or whether similar systems already exist elsewhere in China to target journalists.

The biometric surveillance platform would categorize targets into red, yellow and green risk profiles and would be triggered by a journalist checking into a hotel in the province, buying a ticket or crossing the provincial border.

“Suspicious persons must be tailed and controlled, dynamic research analyses and risk assessments made, and the journalists dealt with according to their category,” the tender reads, according to Reuters.

No reasons are given in the 200-page tender as to why journalists should be tracked, but working and living as a foreign journalist in China is becoming increasingly untenable due to interventions from authorities at all levels.

The system is also intended to track foreign students – particularly around sensitive dates – and migrant women. Women are trafficked into China from neighboring and regional countries in part due to the gender imbalance.

Tracking people of a certain ethnicity with surveillance systems is already an established practice in China.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Mastercard commits to passkeys for payment, full tokenization in EU by 2030

As the EU gallops into the digital wallet era, Mastercard is going full-token, as it announces a plan to achieve…


Coinbase announces smart wallets for easier transition to chain

Coinbase is riding the wallet wave, with the launch of its next generation of smart wallets. A blog post from…


Michigan City Council orders comprehensive facial recognition policy for local police

In a move aimed at safeguarding civil liberties, the City Council of Ann Arbor in Michigan has taken a decisive…


Video deepfake fraud threat is real, helplessness is not: ID R&D webinar

Deepfakes have become a cause for common concern, with articles and viral posts warning of their power to deceive. Real-life…


Mobile driver’s licenses continue to pick up speed

Mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) are among the final pieces of a fully-realized digital wallet ecosystem that would see us permanently…


Sumsub expands data sources to improve KYB

Sumsub has provided upgrades to its Business Verification platform aimed at tackling the common challenges that businesses encounter during the…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events