Some 56 electronic certificates have been made available in more than 200 Chinese cities so far, including identification cards (ID card), social security cards, driver’s licenses and marriage certificates, according to data released by China’s leading payment and lifestyle platform Alipay on April 16, Chinanews.com reported on Tuesday.
On April 17, 2018, Alipay launched an electronic ID card in China. People can get their ID card by utilizing facial recognition through the Alipay app, a process which takes less than three seconds. More than 40 million Chinese people have already obtained electronic ID cards from Alipay.
The electronic ID card is not the first of its kind launched by Alipay. In October 2016, the traffic police department in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, rolled out an electronic driver’s license, helping drivers prove their identities with ease.
Electronic certificates have saved many Chinese people from the embarrassment and trouble caused by forgetting to bring important documents with them.
The technological conditions for electronic certificates are now fully developed, and the age of electronic documents is already upon us, said Yang Peng, vice president of Ant Financial Services Group, the operator of Alipay.
“I hope that more cities and more organizations will accept electronic certificates, so that more people can enjoy the convenience facilitated by the ‘Internet plus’ model,” said Yang.
“Electronic certificates help remove information barriers between departments and organizations, bringing convenience to people while greatly improving the efficiency of various activities in society,” said Pan Helin, a postdoctoral researcher of Applied Economics at the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences.