Getting things done: Putuo is making business easier with new online services

Yang Jian
Putuo District has launched its "Online Service Season" to promote its fully functional e-governance services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yang Jian

Putuo District has launched its "Online Service Season" to promote its fully functional e-governance services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the Government Online-Offline Shanghai portal, a super self-service network integrating Shanghai's e-governance platforms, Putuo aims to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control as well as the economic and social development, according to the district government.

During the annual event, the district will explore a range of mobile and cloud approaches to make government services more efficient, convenient and reliable, said Xiao Wengao, the director of Putuo.

It aims to enhance its urban management, while optimizing the business environment with digitalized services amid the pandemic.

"The pandemic must be brought under control with a stabilized economy and safe development," Xiao told the opening ceremony of the event.

"Putuo's people are reliable and get things done," is both the slogan and the key principle for the government's conduct on all issues, especially services for individuals and companies.

It has launched five key cloud services, available on mobile phones, covering COVID-19 prevention and control and various administrative services as well as work resumption and people's livelihoods.

A code-scanning project, for instance, has been launched at the Caoyang Community, born in the 1950s and known as China's first workers' community.

By scanning a code at the entrance of communities, residents, guests and deliverymen will receive a digital ID for the convenience of security checks and anti-COVID-19 inspections.

Getting things done: Putuo is making business easier with new online services
Ti Gong

The landmark Global Harbor Mall in Putuo.

Another smart management system for employees has been widely implemented at the shopping malls, wet markets, supermarkets, restaurants and street shops across the Caoyang subdistrict.

Inspectors can check the nucleic acid test results of workers on mobile devices, while conducting random on-site inspections.

Putuo pioneered the venue code in Shanghai, which is now used citywide, at the beginning of the city's COVID-19 resurgence in early March.

The code is now mandatory across public transport, shops and most public spaces in Shanghai.

The district became the first to allow citizens to apply for online certificates for home quarantine or interprovincial traveling.

Putuo residents can check the COVID-19 prevention and control policies on their residential compounds or get prescription drugs for chronic diseases via their smartphones.

A series of online services have been launched for Putuo companies to attract investment, apply for licenses and pay taxes during the pandemic. A number of online consultations and lectures are being held regularly for companies.

To further improve the business environment, a rapid-response problem-solving mechanism has been established to address the questions and needs of enterprises.

Service staffers are working together with artificial intelligence tools to offer customized services for companies around the clock.

Experienced service staffers hold online video talks for company representatives who submit their problems and needs via a mobile app.

They will guide company staff through various online application procedures on computers or mobile phones.

As the pandemic wanes in Shanghai, companies can apply online to resume operations. These applications will be evaluated and approved automatically and rapidly.

For companies in difficulty, the district has launched a one-stop online fundraising service.

Small and micro enterprises and individual companies can now receive government subsidies or investment without rushing to the district's administrative service centers.

"Thanks to these services, my company managed to get a tax refund in time during the hardest period after the COVID-19 resurgence," said Liu Lin, general manager of the Qiji commercial trading company in Putuo's Taopu Town.

The company ran out of money in early April when logistics came to a standstill and its warehouses were put under lockdown.

An official at Taopu Town helped the company apply for tax refunds and subsidies newly announced by the city government, which helped the company get through a difficult period.

Shanghai has announced a number of supportive policies covering capital, land, talent and the business environment in the latest bid to revitalize its COVID-battered economy.

Putuo released a standardized index system during its event for the training and appraisal of its government service staff, who are considered vital to its e-governance services.

The service staffers are the front line of the government's policies and image, said a district official.

"They are the gatekeeper of how the policies are implemented and whether the customers are satisfied," the official added.

Ma Wenjia is one of the versatile employees working at the Putuo Taxation Bureau. She leads the "Do at Once" office, offering all kinds of services for companies.

As an increasing number of companies resumed operations, Ma noticed surging demand for invoices.

To relieve the pressure on the administrative service center, Ma led her team to open an invoice hotline for company staff to make reservations and pick up the invoices directly from the center.

"It was a great surprise that we could still receive some 4,800 invoices from the taxation authority even when the delivery service had yet to resume," said Zeng Huanhuan, an employee dealing with tax at the Shanghai Huamer food company.

The company has supplied over 1.5 million kilograms of food to local markets since April to ensure vital daily supplies for citizens and companies.

The "Do at Once" office opened in late 2021 with the cooperation of over 20 government departments in Putuo, said an official with the district's tax bureau.

It aims to solve all kinds of difficulties immediately with bespoke services. Officials from various government departments host consultation meetings to help companies deal with complex issues.

For its next step, Putuo plans to launch additional training sessions, skills training and evaluations to enhance the service standards of its professional workers.

Above all, the Putuo government's key aim is to resolve all issues and difficulties faced by companies and individuals in the district as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

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