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Over 400 Chinese cities provide government services on Alipay

(People's Daily Online)    10:26, January 11, 2019

A policeman shows how to verify identity using face scanning. (Yangcheng Evening News/Huang Weijun)

Five hundred million citizens in 442 Chinese cities now have access to government services on Alipay, a Chinese mobile payment platform that is evolving into a comprehensive service hub.

According to research done by China’s Sun Yat-sen University, the municipal government of Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province offers 126 different services on the platform, the most among all 442 cities, followed by Shenzhen, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Shanghai.

12 of the top 20 cities that saw the most substantial increase in the number of services offered on Alipay last year were located in central and western provinces. Moreover, nearly half of the top 30 small-medium cities that held the most users were also in these regions.

“New technologies are bridging the digital divide rather than bringing more difficulties for seniors and the less educated,” said Zheng Yueping, a scholar from the Center for Public Administration Research of Sun Yat-sen University, who led the research.

For example, face scanning is accepted by the older generations when they go to receive their pension, since they no longer have to memorize complicated passwords or go through lengthy procedures to prove their identities, he explained.

Now facial scanning has been introduced for government services in over 170 cities, and the number of citizens that use these services to handle online transactions has increased 50 fold over the last year.

Zou Liang, vice president of Ant Financial, the parent company of Alipay, said that since e-government affairs were introduced 10 years ago, Alipay has continued to make public services as easy as online shopping, which is a reform that no other country has experienced to date. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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