Miaozhen to track offline shoppers in China by investing in facial recognition cameras

Chinese media monitoring company Miaozhen is to invest in facial recognition technology as part of a bid to track offline shoppers across China.

Miaozhen, the so-called ‘Nielsen Of China’ has bought a minority stake in the tech consultancy firm MaLogic, with whom the Beijing-headquartered company will develop facial recognition screens to be installed in retail spaces.

The data collected from these screens will be able to pick up customer information from their gender, age and emotions while shopping. The data will then be merged with Miaozhen’s online data sources to “construct a complete profile of the customer”, a spokeswoman told Mumbrella Asia.

Although Miaozhen would not reveal the number of retailers it is targeting with the technology, the company said it intended to roll out the screens beyond China.

Details of the MaLogic deal, including the percentage stake acquired, have not been revealed. The company was founded earlier this year by Eliza Wong, the former CEO of Synovate, and Royce Yuen, the former Ogilvy Hong Kong chairman.

In September, MaLogic launched a big data platform aimed at helping small retailers and convenience store owners build better customer profiles using ‘real time data and insights’.

Founded by Wu Minghui in 2006, Miaozhen has become one of China’s leading players in monitoring online and programmatic advertising. However, earlier this year, its senior consulting director, Lu Heng, admitted that 80 percent of retail sales still occur offline in China.

At the same time, he also admitted that ad fraud and invalid traffic had made advertisers more cautious about investing in digital media.


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