Online, Chinese social media users reacted with a mix of support and worry over the December 1 facial verification notice, with some voicing concerns their biometric data could be leaked or sold.
“This is a bit too much,” wrote one user on Twitter-like Weibo, commenting under an article about the new rules.
“Control, and then more control,” posted another.
While researchers have warned of the privacy risks associated with gathering facial recognition data, consumers have widely embraced the technology — though China saw one of its first lawsuits on facial recognition last month.
In early November, a Chinese professor filed a claim against a safari park in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang province for requiring face scans for entry, according to the local court.
In addition to mobile users, Chinese social media site Weibo was forced to roll out real-name registration in 2012.
Oversight of social media has ramped up in recent years as part of the Chinese government’s push to “promote the healthy, orderly development of the Internet, protect state security and public interest”.