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China Communications Network Software

WeChat To Become China's Official Electronic ID System (scmp.com) 54

The popular mobile application WeChat is poised to become China's official electronic personal identification system. "The government of Guangzhou, capital of the southern coastal province of Guangdong, started on Monday a pilot program 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," reports South China Morning Post. From the report: It said that trial will soon cover the entire province and further expand across the country from January next year. The program's success would mark one of the most significant milestones for WeChat after it was initially rolled out by Tencent as a mobile messaging service in 2011, and then evolved into the country's largest social network, as well as a popular online platform for payments and money transfers. Shenzhen-based Tencent has estimated that WeChat, marketed as Weixin on the mainland, recorded 980 million monthly active users in the quarter ended September 30. The WeChat ID program 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 authorized. 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.
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WeChat To Become China's Official Electronic ID System

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  • by mrwireless ( 1056688 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @03:23AM (#55813863)
    An perhaps useful bit of context is that in bij 2020 the Chinese government want to implement the Social Credit system, which will give every citizen a single score that represents how well behaved they are, and which will influence the ability to get a job with the government, get a cheap loan, etc. Both Tencent and Alibaba group have been running large scale reputation scoring pilots. Alibaba's version is called "sesame credit" and is based more on your purchase data, while Tencent's version is based more on what you say and share online. Over 100.000 Chinese have been boasting about their scores online. This would be a logical continuation of that development, and is another signal that the Chinese government is using their mega companies as a testing ground for things that will eventually become state operated. I do doubt that this will be anything more than a pilot, although a large scale one. In the end the Chinese government will want to run this system themselves, as they do with the social credit system. Sources: - Planning document for the social credit system: https://chinacopyrightandmedia... [wordpress.com] - BBC on the Sesame Credit pilot: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-... [bbc.com]
  • by mrwireless ( 1056688 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @03:25AM (#55813875)
    An perhaps useful bit of context is that in bij 2020 the Chinese government want to implement the Social Credit system, which will give every citizen a single score that represents how well behaved they are, and which will influence the ability to get a job with the government, get a cheap loan, etc. Both Tencent and Alibaba group have been running large scale reputation scoring pilots. Alibaba's version is called "sesame credit" and is based more on your purchase data, while Tencent's version is based more on what you say and share online.

    This would be a logical continuation of that development, and is another signal that the Chinese government is using their mega companies as a testing ground for things that will eventually become state operated.

    I do doubt that this will be anything more than a pilot, although a large scale one. In the end the Chinese government will want to run this system themselves, as they do with the credit system.

    Sources:
    - Planning document for the social credit system: https://chinacopyrightandmedia... [wordpress.com]
    - BBC on the Sesame Credit pilot: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-... [bbc.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @05:45AM (#55814115)

    These public-private partnerships sure have taken China to levels that Mussolini only talked about.

    Truly China is one of the biggest success stories of migrating from communism to oligarchy controlled free market fascism.

    China, thank you for paving the way to America's Aristocracy's end goal! We shall follow your neon lit example all the way to hell, on tiles of financially a nd social manipulative intention all the way down!

    • This is more serious than just fascism. China is already fascist, if you mean state violence and corporativism. This is another step to 1984.
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        Fascism doesn't require violence, though I can't think of any examples of governments that don't rely on it. Even so, that means that violence isn't a distinguishing characteristic of fascism. Fascism is mainly about the integration of privately owned corporation power with government power in such a way that they reinforce each other. Mussolini designed it to "Make Italy great again!", and he was better at it than many imitators...though not as good as the US. China looks to be doing this even more eff

  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @07:40AM (#55814333)

    How soon before social rankings start impacting their everyday lives? Not much at this rate.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      I'm thinking more The Orville with badges and the coffee shop not serving anyone with over 500,000 down votes.
      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        I'm thinking more The Orville with badges and the coffee shop not serving anyone with over 500,000 down votes.

        I was thinking more World of Tanks where others can kill you once your badge turns blue.

  • Quite scary now that it's getting real. ... Considering that I used to enjoy playing Shadowrun and reading Gibson.

    It's not quite the same these days.

  • "The Circle" with Emma watson? Basically a dystopia if Facebook and apple and Google were all one company and owned the world. They propose something like this in the movie. Never thought that would happen in real life. Guess I wasn't thinking about china.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as proud American through and through I say there is much to be learned from wise and benevolent Russia in this regard.

    President Putin holds America and great President Trump in high esteem and regard and conveys helpful greetings and informations on how to deal with reactionary petty bourgeois Sino rabble to make benefit for both great nations.

    As guaranteed American 100% patriot citizen proudly from Boston be born, I can loudly say that arm in arm with President Putin we fellow Yankees can resolu

  • I just watched The Circie on Amazon over the Christmas weekend... this is basically what was proposed in the movie but in terms of voting...
  • by nhtshot ( 198470 ) on Wednesday December 27, 2017 @01:15PM (#55816169) Homepage

    The reality over there is that WeChat already was. This is just making it official.

    Wechat has required identification tied to a Chinese mobile phone number for some time now. They also started (two years ago I believe) collecting IDs to purchase a sim card. It might not have publicly stated such, but Wechat was already bound to a users ID card and sim card.

    When they cracked down on websites and started enforcing the censorship rules more strictly, every Chinese website I use moved to requiring registration validation with a Chinese phone number or Wechat account.

    Wifi registration via Wechat has been going for about as long.

    Wechat is also, now, the primary means of paying for basically everything. Groceries? Scan the QR at the register. Taxi? Book it with DIDI (Chinese Uber) or scan the QR code. Restuarant? QR code at the table. Scan it and you can place your order through the phone and pay right away.

    So: your identity, thoughts, opinions, pictures, personal relationships and money are all now wrapped up in a single app controlled by the government. I can't imagine there will be any abuses of this!

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