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Check-in with a smile: Marriott, Alibaba trial facial recognition at China hotels


By and Jourdan

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese guests at Marriott International, the world's largest hotel chain, may soon be able to check in with a quick scan of their facial features.

The chain will work in a joint venture with Chinese to test check-ins at two this month, the firms said on Wednesday, with ambitions for a global rollout later.

is spearheading the use of for everything from helping control major live events to ordering fast-food, but also bolstering a growing domestic surveillance system that has raised fears among human rights activists of privacy being invaded.

The joint venture said the new technology would help guests jump queues and cut the check-in process to less than a minute, compared to at least three minutes at a normal counter.

Chinese guests will need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on an automated machine, the firms said. The device will then dispense room key cards after verifying identities and booking information.

The pilot will roll out at two Marriott in and Sanya on the tropical island province of

Marriott got in hot water in earlier this year when local authorities closed down its Chinese website for a week as punishment for listing Chinese-claimed regions such as and as separate countries in a customer questionnaire.

In September last year, Yum China's launched a "Smile to Pay" system at a store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, looking to lure in tech-savvy younger consumers.

(Editing by Himani Sarkar)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 15:49 IST