WeChat is omnipresent in China. With more than 1 billion monthly active users, the Tencent app lets people chat, pay bills, play games, shop, and access government services -- without ever leaving WeChat.
Face and palm readings, old Chinese traditions used for fortune telling, are now being combined with AI -- or at least people claim it is. People have been offering “AI fortune telling” services on WeChat, and Chinese state media has recently taken notice.
The services, which operate as WeChat public accounts and mini programs, ask users to upload a picture of their face or hand and sell the results for about 10 yuan (US$1.45). Many of them also encourage people to become “agents,” who can promote the service to their friends for commissions that can run as high as 70%, according to Xinhua.
The Xinhua report also said that these services pose serious risks for people’s biometric data and need to be regulated, adding that they are gimmicks that are more entertainment than scientific.
We've reached out to Tencent and will update this story if we hear back.