Alibaba Brings Biometric Check-In to 50 Hotels in Hainan

“The process is entirely automated, and in a statement announcing the Hainan deployments, Shiji asserted that it ‘takes 30 seconds from arrival to room card issued including payment authorization.'”

Biometric check-in technology for hotels appears to be gaining traction in China, thanks in large part to Alibaba, the country’s e-commerce giant.

Alibaba Brings Biometric Check-In to 50 Hotels in Hainan

Facial recognition check-in and payment system for hotels (via PRNewsfoto/Shiji Group)

Together with Shiji, a network solutions provider focused on the hotel sector, Alibaba subsidiary Figgy has brought a biometric check-in system to 50 hotels in China’s Hainan province. For the consumer, the system takes the form of a self-service kiosk designed to scan IDs and the user’s face, as well as to perform credit card authorizations and produce keycards for rooms.

The process is entirely automated, and in a statement announcing the Hainan deployments, Shiji asserted that it “takes 30 seconds from arrival to room card issued including payment authorization.”

The deployments’ announcement comes just a couple of months after the news that Alibaba was trialling biometric check-in technology at two major Marriott hotels in Hainan, suggesting that the program was escalated rapidly after those trials’ conclusions. In the China context, that speed comes as little surprise; facial recognition technology is particularly prevalent in the country, both in private sector deployments and in government-led security and surveillance applications.

September 11, 2018 – by Alex Perala