Chinese users to pass facial recognition test before purchasing mobile and Internet services

A new regulation is set to enter into force in China in December 2019, requiring individuals to pass a facial recognition test before purchasing new electronic communications services (e.g. mobile telephony and Internet). The test is aimed to ensure that the ID card used when purchasing such services truly belongs to the applicants (in line with a previous regulation, providers of electronic communications services need to check the ID of customers when they get new services). Chinese authorities argue that the measure is intended to ‘safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in cyberspace’ and mitigate phone and Internet fraud.