China introduces social security digital certificate

China has begun issuing digital certificates for social security, according to a report published by Xinhua, China’s official press agency.

The new digital certificate features all the digital functions available with the current e-card, including self-service enquiries and e-payment.

The new e-certificate builds upon earlier pilot programs used in Fuzhou and Qingdao, where local governments allowed users of Alipay, Alibaba’s third party online payment service platform, to pay for insured services through their social security accounts.

Officials at the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said the new digital certificate has a number of safety measures, including an electronic information certification process and AI-facilitated Internet security methods to confirm the insured person’s identity.

According to the ministry, China’s social security system covers 1.12 billion citizens, or 80.6 percent of its total population, and is widely used for pension payments, medical services, elderly care and unemployment claims.

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