China is not alone in having Security cameras in its cities, but what is special about the Chinese system is that it is linked to a facial recognition system that can identify people in a few seconds. China, again like some other nations, has Personal Identity Cards with a photographic image on it . (Australia has not, but drivers licences do have an image and such licences are used as de facto identity cards). That makes it possible to make that fast identification. At a test a couple of months ago at busy Rail station, police picked up 50 wanted suspects in one morning.
But there's an interesting story about the camera that powers China's security network. Invented at Duke University, the inventors failed to interest the US government in the camera, so the inventor moved to China ....
This Wall Street Journal Video tells the story: