China to fingerprint all foreign visitors

09/02/17

All foreign visitors to China will now be fingerprinted at border points to enhance national security, the Ministry of Public Security said on Thursday.

Fingerprinting of foreigners will be introduced at Shenzhen airport in the south from Friday, and it will then be gradually rolled out at other entry points around the country, the ministry said in a statement.

All foreign passport holders aged 14-70 will have to give their fingerprints, it said, without saying if other biometric data would also be collected.

The ministry said the regulation would strengthen immigration controls and increase efficiency.

While Chinese border posts do not generally have overly onerous entry formalities, most visitors need a visa, though many cities have visa-free deals for visits of a few days as part of efforts to boost tourism.

Chinese authorities counted more than 76 million entries and exits last year from foreigners, primarily from South Korea, Japan, the United States and Russia.

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