China launches ID platform for foreigners to cross borders and access services
China’s National Immigration Administration has announced the development of an identity verification platform for entering and exiting the country, which can also be used to provide ID for various services, according to ECNS.cn.
Ministry of Public Security has announced that under the system, foreigners travelling to the country will have their names and passport information added to a national ID authentication platform for expats, to enable them to access government, public, and internet services available to mainland residents, The Beijinger reports.
The verification platform can be used by citizens of Hong Kong and Macau and overseas Chinese to access 35 public services, ECNS reports, including transportation, finance, education, telecommunication, health care, and accommodation, with their entry and exit documents. Previously, accessing services without a ‘Chinese green card’ was often considered challenging, according to the reports.
The Beijinger notes that the wording of the announcement makes it unclear if the system will be extended to all foreigners, but indicates that it will most likely be applied across the board.
The system is described in the announcement (as translated by Google) as a “free certification service” which is part of an initiative to open the country and reform government services through use of the internet. The National Immigration Bureau also hopes it will help attract foreign talent to participate in the country’s innovation and entrepreneurship.