Getting a cellular data contract or buying a new cellphone will now require the individual to agree for facial recognition as a proof of identity along with their national ID card. The new policy by the Chinese government came into effect on December 1, 2019.
The move is meant to reduce fraud, reducing the ability fo the user to use phone services in an anonymous way. Although it is seen as a controversial move as it is not clear if the phone service providers will get rid of the face scans after the verification process or add them to the government’s existing surveillance programs to track and suppress ethnic minorities.
However it is doubtful the Chinese government will back down on face scans that help stifle political opposition.