WeChat poised to become China’s official electronic ID system
Interesting blend of tech social media and government services. My fear for Western countries is that Facebook would likely be seen as the dominant social media platform (hang on, have they not been experimenting too with facial recognition?) and we like to preserve having an equal choice between different options. There is no telling though what ideas a politician may "buy" into...
The government of Guangzhou, capital of the southern coastal province of Guangdong, started on Monday a pilot programme that creates a virtual ID card, which serves the same purpose as the traditional state-issued ID cards, through the WeChat accounts of registered users in the city’s Nansha district, according to a report by state news agency Xinhua.
It said that trial will soon cover the entire province and further expand across the country from January next year.
The WeChat ID programme was co-developed by the research institute of the Ministry of Public Security and Tencent’s WeChat team, and supported by various banks and several other government departments. The project is expected to help deter online identity theft, as facial recognition technology is used to verify applicants before their virtual ID cards get authorised. Those verified will be able to use their WeChat ID to register in hotels and apply for government services without the need of bringing their physical ID cards.