Starting business in Pudong just gets easier

Using mobile technology, the district government is bringing governance to the fingertips of its entrepreneurs.

Starting a new business in Pudong no longer requires budding entrepreneurs to make multiple trips to myriad government offices, with the new area government moving to a WeChat mini program for permits required by different industries from government departments.

The new system for registering and seeking clearances allows entrepreneurs to upload their personal ID, business license and use facial recognition and online signature technologies to apply for and track the status of permits and licenses on their mobile phones, in line with Pudong’s vision of bringing governance to people’s fingertips.

Xu Jing, who launched her trading firm in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, told Shanghai Daily the process to register on the mini program was so easy.

Xu, the first applicant through the service, uploaded her ID and necessary information of her company. She was told the right thing to do through every step when she logged on to the mini program.

She can now apply for more services or government grants online whether she is at home or staying abroad.

“Having submitted online, I now just deliver the paperwork necessary to the Pudong New Area Enterprise Service Center without having to visit the counter personally,” Xu said.

The one-stop service platform at the center now covers all 382 government approvals required by businesses.

All items can be submitted and processed online. A total of 51 physical counters at the center deal with the items, compared with 120 counters previously.

The offline counters are also required to give clear feedback and instructions, freeing entrepreneurs from the guesswork associated that used to be associated with seeking clearances.

There are also aides at the center to tell applicants what to do for each step.

The internal information sharing among different government agencies has largely reduced red tape. Altogether 56 certificates issued by 12 government agencies are available online.

Enterprises no longer need submit personal ID of their shareholders and business licenses, as of the end of last year.

Real estate titles can also be uploaded to the data bank of the new area government.

Jiang Hongjun, director of the Pudong enterprise service center, said the latest reforms are based on advice from businesses and trade associations.

The Pudong government is seeking advice from a panel of 19 — mainly entrepreneurs and heads of trade associations.

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