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Boyfriend lifted girlfriend’s eyelids as she slept to steal £18,000 using facial recognition

Boyfriend lifted his girlfriend’s eyelids as she slept and stole £18,000 using her phone’s facial recognition to unlock apps

  • The 28-year-old Chinese man, identified as Huang, waited until his partner was sleeping before he used her fingerprints to unlock her Huawei phone
  • He then unlocked his girlfriend’s Alipay app by lifting up her eyelids so that her phone would recognise her face, before transferring £18,000 from bank
  • Huang has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for stealing money


A Chinese man has been jailed for three and a half years for lifting his girlfriend’s eyelids as she slept and stealing nearly £18,000 from her bank accounts by using her phone’s facial recognition software to unlock apps. 

The 28-year-old boyfriend, identified only by his family name Huang, waited until his partner was sleeping before he used her fingerprints to unlock her Huawei phone. 

He then gained access to his girlfriend’s Alipay mobile payment platform by lifting up her eyelids so that her phone would recognise her face and unlock the app at a home in the southern city of Nanning, according to court documents seen by The Times.  

Huang later changed the woman’s password for Alipay and transferred more than 150,000 yuan (£18,000) from her bank accounts. 

A Chinese man has been jailed for three and a half years for lifting his girlfriend’s eyelids as she slept and stealing nearly £18,000 from her bank accounts by using her phone’s facial recognition software to unlock apps (file image) 

The victim, identified only by her family name Dong, had met up with Huang in December last year and he had cooked her a meal. 

But Huang had put soluble cold medicine in the food, which made Dong sleepy, reported state-run newspaper Nanning Evening News. 

Huang came up with the extravagant plot after he had racked up extensive gambling debts and used the money to pay them off – before continuing to gamble. 

Dong, who has since broken up with Huang, started to worry after she received alerts about large bank transfers the morning after and filed a police report. 

Huang was arrested in April and later found guilty of theft by using secret methods to steal someone else’s property, with a judge sentencing him to three and a half years in prison and handing him a 20,000 yuan (£2,400) fine. 

Alipay, a Chinese third-party mobile and online payment platform, has since said the app’s facial recognition function does not work if the person’s face is expressionless. 

But the company did urge their customers to add extra layers of protection to their accounts and alert police of any unusual activity.    

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