Ani-com is using facial recognition to crack down on ticket scalpers

Visitors to this year’s entertainment fair will need to have their faces scanned when registering for a ticket

Nicola Chan |

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Many fans queue overnight to get their hands on a ticket for the popular expo.

Ani-com is introducing a new ticket registration system which uses facial recognition technology, for visitors when the convention returns to Hong Kong next week. This system is being introduced in an attempt to crack down on people who deliberately buy and resell tickets at a higher price.

Visitors will need to have their face scanned at the MacPherson Stadium this morning for a chance to be one of the first 500 entrants of the fair, which opens this Friday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

Leung Chung-poon, the chief executive of the Animation-Comic-Games Expo, said the new move was in response to queue jumping and scalpers, who have troubled the event in previous years.

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“In the past, we’ve met with problems regarding lining up before the opening,” Leung said. “With certain products, there would be quite a lot of people who were not animation fans [lining] up overnight, like some scalpers, and they jumped the queue and disrupted the order.” Leung added that he hopes things will be different this time.

To get the early bird tickets, fans will also need to provide some form of ID and their phone number. Once registered, fans will be able to enter the fair according to the order in which they registered, after confirming their personal details.

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It’s common for people in Hong Kong to snap up tickets for events, before reselling them at very high prices. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor vowed earlier this year to put an end to the practise by making touting illegal at government-run venues.

This year, Ani-com will be hosting its first E-sports Carnival, where top gamers from Hong Kong and other countries in Asia will gather and compete against each other. There will also be shortlisted works from the

9th Ani-com Art Idol – HK Figure Design Competition, including designs from the student category.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge