Shanghai Employs Face Recognition to Crack Down on Illegal Sublease of Public Housing



(Yicai Global) March 30 -- In five years, Shanghai will apply facial and fingerprint recognition technologies in all public housing facilities in the city to stop illegal subleasing of public rental apartments.

The local government developed an intelligent access control system featuring facial and fingerprint recognition technologies, and piloted it at a public housing project -- Renwen Apartments in Pudong New Area, local newspaper Xinmin Evening News reported. The system has proven very effective. Illegal subleasing has been eliminated, and the rent collection rate has increased to 100 percent.

The system developed based on the uniqueness of people’s faces and fingerprints. It creates a more secure and reliable environment because only registered tenants can enter the building, allowing the government to effectively enforce regulations against illegal subleasing. 

Public housing facilities are offered to those with financial difficulties, and are owned by the government or public organizations. They are rented to eligible applicants at lower than market prices. Those eligible for public rental units include new college graduates and migrant workers. However, the authorities have found in recent years some tenants subleasing apartments at market price, thus cashing in on affordable government housing.

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