On World Book and Copyright Day, which fell on Monday, Alibaba's Tmall and Zhida Bookstore debuted China's first unmanned bookstore. Located near Fudan University, the bookstore allows customers to process their payments using facial recognition technology.
Using a mobile payment system based on facial recognition technologies offered by Tmall, it takes only three steps to select and purchase items at the bookstore. Customers must open their Alipay app to scan a QR code installed on a digital screen to pass through the gate.
They can then browse the shop. At the exit, a payment system will automatically scan the customer's face, recognize the price tag of their book and deduct the cost from the customer's Alipay - all in a matter of seconds.
The bookstore boasts over 6,000 literary works. In the future the bookstore will explore a 24-hour operation model.