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Nip and stuck?

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Facial recognition has become a hot investment theme in China, with the technology being used ever more widely (see WiC380). But a flaw in the concept may have been revealed by three Chinese women who are now stranded in South Korea. The issue: their faces are unrecognisable after having gone through extensive plastic surgery.

Media reports that during this month’s eight-day long National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday period, planeloads of Chinese women went to South Korea – arguably the plastic surgery capital of the world – to change their faces. However, Oriental Daily then pointed out that getting home was proving tricky. On October 10 it posted a photo of three women at a South Korean airport who had been unable to board their plane. Passport control officers reportedly told them they looked nothing like their passport photos and could not leave the country until “relevant departments” could confirm their identity.

The news sparked ridicule across China’s internet where a post went viral that stated “Even your mother wouldn’t know who you are!” Chinese customs officials also confirmed plastic surgery is a concern.

However, could this be just the latest example of a ‘fake news’ item? Website SupChina cites a subsequent South Korean newspaper report where the justice ministry in Seoul denied the incident.


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