China's social security card goes digital
The Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Sunday issued the country's first electronic certificate of social security, at the opening of the Digital China Summit in Fuzhou, capital of east China's Fujian Province.
The e-certificate, which is applicable nationwide, contains all the digital functions of the current e-card, including self-service enquiry and e-payment functions.
The high-profile summit highlights China's latest push in digital development.
The official launch of the e-certificate of social security builds on an earlier pilot program in Chinese cities such as Fuzhou and Qingdao, where local governments allow users of Alipay, Alibaba's third party online payment service platform, to pay for social security.
Alipay's cell phone app confirms user identities through a facial recognition system. Users can then get their QR code to make medical payments more swiftly and conveniently.
Zhai Yanli, head of the Information Center with the ministry, said at the summit that the e-certificate has adopted a number of safety measures including an electronic information certification process and AI-facilitated Internet security methods to confirm the holder's identity.
Cities like Fuzhou and Qingdao will be the first to carry out the e-certificate of social security on a trial basis.
By the end of March, China's social security system has covered 1.12 billion citizens, or 80.6 percent of the total population, according to the ministry. The system has been widely used in medical services, elderly care and employment.