Beijing Restrooms Get Facial Recognition to Thwart Toilet Paper Bandits

By Justine Lopez, March 20, 2017

2 0

In an effort to crack down on Beijing’s “toilet paper bandits,” numerous public restrooms at the Temple of Heaven are now equipped with facial recognition systems.  

A total of six facial recognition machines were installed in some of the park’s restrooms on Saturday, Straits Times reports. Anyone who needs toilet paper must now stand in line and get their faces scanned by the machines. If all goes well, the machine will dispense 60 cm of toilet paper. 

Although it sounds high-tech, the machines are already proving to be a nuisance. Because really, who wants to stand in line and wait when you just really have to go?

Already, the new system has caused longer lines and wait times at public restrooms at the popular tourist site. Many visitors stated that the new machines take upwards of a minute to scan faces and many actually failed to even dispense toilet paper. 

The new system was also downright baffling to many. Attendants were on site over the weekend to explain how the machines worked to confused visitors. However, this did little to alleviate concerns over privacy. Because nothing makes you more comfortable than knowing there’s a camera in the bathroom.

So why all the fuss over toilet paper? Well, many visitors to the Temple of Heaven are notorious for stashing massive amounts of toilet paper into their bags. 

The new system not only limits the amount of toilet paper each visitor can use, but if you are an all-too-frequent visitor to a particular restroom, the machines might just deny you toilet paper. 

[Images via Straits Times]

more news

PHOTOS: Chaos at (Now Closed to the Public) Nali Patio

News has emerged in recent days that part of Nali Patio is being torn down due to a dispute.

Explainer: The Story Behind Dragon Boat Festival

What's with all these dragon boats anyway?

Public Toilets and Other Beijing COVID News

COVID restrictions are in place at some Beijing public toilets.

Explainer: Everything You Need to Know About Qingming

Have no idea what Tomb-Sweeping Day is all about? We're here to explain.

‘Work From Home During Winter Olympics’ – Beijing Authorities

Beijing residents are advised to apply "flexible" office hours and take public transport when possible during the Games.

Are These ‘Fast Lanes’ the Future of Beijing Subway Stations?

The use of 'fast lanes' to make entering Beijing Subway stations more convenient is underway until the end of December.

China, Here Are Your 2022 Public Holidays

Will the borders open for 2022? Regardless, it's time to start planning your next adventure.

Universal Beijing Resort to Open to The Public? Well… Not Yet

The resort announced that trial operations with selected guests would begin on September 1.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsBeijing for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Beijing With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Beijing!

Visit the archives