China's version of Airbnb, Xiaozhu, is stepping up its game by introducing facial recognition-enabled smart door locks in lieu of the more traditional forms of verification. This identifies the tenants as part of a larger effort to increase safety and security within the country's growing 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 per cent 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.
“Years ago, what we worried about the most was that people didn’t want to share their homes with strangers. Now, home-sharing has become an industry so we need to do more to address the concerns of all parties involved,” said Kelvin Chen Chi, chief executive of the Beijing-based Xiaozhu.
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