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After having their national ID scanned, buyers can pay for masks with WeChat Pay or Alipay. (Picture: Pear Video)

Face mask vending machine in China sells 800 masks a day

Mask shortages in China has a VR company to selling limited stock each day through a vending machine

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
China’s eastern city of Xuzhou now has a vending machine for face masks, claiming to be the first of its kind in the country. The machine reportedly puts 800 masks on sale every day, limiting each buyer to two a day. A woman interviewed in a video on Weibo said that she queued up for two hours for two masks.

Topow Research Institute of Virtual Reality Technology, the company that made the vending machine, says that it’s planning to launch a second generation of the vending machine that can check a person’s temperature after scanning a national ID. It will be able to alert authorities if the temperature is abnormal, the company said.

The Xuzhou-based company builds VR systems for a range of applications including education, fire safety training, and even a “VR exhibition hall” for studying Community Party history. Topow told us the second-generation machine is still being developed, and there isn’t a timeline for release.

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