08:32 GMT +323 April 2018
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    Fuzhou Vows to Wipe Out Toilet Paper Theft

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    "Look here three seconds, automatic paper out," say instructions in Chinese and English on a toilet paper machine with biometric authentication functions in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian Province.

    The dispenser, manufactured by Keerny Huanbao Technologic Co, a Fujian-based environmental protection firm, has a face scanner on the top, and a paper dispenser at the bottom, a Pear Video post revealed on Sina Weibo Monday.

    "The machine can help cut paper use by 50 percent," an employee says in the video.

    The video has sparked discussion online on whether the 70 centimeters of paper the machine dispenses is enough.

    "I am not sure how much I will need each time. But I feel stressed knowing I cannot get more," Sina Weibo user "O fengzi," wrote under the post.

    "Come on, it is enough, in fact more than enough," wrote "mengchongbuluoge."

    Some just made fun of the face scanner. "If the machine is smart, and I frown really hard, I may have a chance to get twice as much," wrote "mbusyboy."

    The facial recognition paper-saving machine comes after reports of China's notorious toilet paper thieves stripping a Chengdu park of 1,500 rolls of paper in one week in April.

    Tiantan Park, home to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, introduced six high-tech dispensers that dole out paper only after conducting a facial scan, the Beijing News reported.

    The pilot program was introduced in response to an increasing number of local residents raiding the park's restrooms for toilet paper. Tourists now must allow the machine to scan their faces before it dispenses a 60-centimeter serving. The software denies the same person more toilet paper within nine minutes of their first scan.

    Tiantan Park claims 30 rolls of paper were used in one toilet one day in winter, the majority of which was stolen, the Beijing Evening News said.

    "Sometimes we have to refill the toilet paper dispenser every 20 minutes," a park attendant was quoted as saying.

    This article was previously published in the Global Times.


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