China will take fingerprint of foreigners from tomorrow when they enter the country as part of its efforts to collect biometric data to strengthen border controls, the Ministry of Public Securitysaid today.
Foreigners who hold diplomatic passports and visas will not have to give their fingerprints.
The new regulation will be rolled out gradually at all entry points across the country, starting with Shenzhen Baoan International Airport from Friday.
With the exception of diplomats, all foreigners between the ages of 14 and 70 will be required to go through this step.
The Beijing Youth Daily reported in 2015 that the ministry of public security had invited manufacturers of fingerprint readers to bid for equipment. Reuters notes that the Ministry has not said if other biometric data will be collected from visitors.
For regular travelers, the new system will shorten the time spent at border control because their identities can be quickly confirmed based on fingerprint information stored in the system, she said.
"I don't mind having my fingerprints collected at border control, because it is pretty common now", said Michael Gall, a United Kingdom citizen who works in Beijing.
Authorities were working for the past few years to ready the technology and logistics needed to implement the new rule.
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