Facial recognition tech catches fugitive in huge crowd at Jacky Cheung Cantopop concert in China
Man arrested after he was identified by the technology among a crowd of about 50,000 at the event
Police have arrested a fugitive in southeast China after facial recognition technology helped identify him in a crowd of about 50,000 people attending a pop concert, a news website reported.
The wanted man was detained while attending a show by the Hong Kong pop star Jacky Cheung last week in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, Kankan News reported.
China is viewed as the world leader in adopting facial recognition technology for various uses, including law enforcement.
The initiatives include the creation of the world’s most powerful facial recognition system by law enforcement agencies. The project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 2015, was under development in conjunction with a security company based in Shanghai, three people familiar with the matter told the South China Morning Post in October.
The 31-year-old man detained last week, who is wanted for unspecified economic crimes, was said to be in shock when police took him away, according to the report.
He had driven 90km (56 miles) from Zhangshu to Nanchang just to see the concert with his wife, the report said.
The man, who was only identified by his family name Ao, was quoted as saying he felt safe among such a huge crowd and would never have gone to the concert if he knew the police were capable of identifying him.
“Ao was suspected to be involved in an economic crime and was listed on a national online system,” police officer Li Jin was quoted as saying. “He was very shocked and had a blank face when we caught him.”
Uses of facial recognition technology in China include people paying at some restaurants or boarding planes after their faces are scanned for identification.
Jacky Cheung is one of Hong Kong’s biggest pop stars and has been on a world tour since 2016, performing more than 140 concerts across China and the rest of the world.