First WeChat ID card issued in China

First WeChat ID card issued in China
PHOTO: Reuters

The first WeChat ID card was issued during a ceremony held in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, on Monday, Yangcheng Evening News reported. The WeChat ID service will be trialed in Guangdong first, and is expected to be launched nationwide from January.

More than 10 government bodies and companies, including the Ministry of Public Security's Research Institute, China Construction Bank and Tencent, have formed an alliance to build a secure and effective Internet Plus public service environment.

A WeChat ID card, regarded as the network certificate or electronic version of one's ID card, is recognised by the Ministry of Public Security. It can be used where real-name authentication is required, such as hotel registration, ticketing, bank services, and delivery services.

"There is no need to show physical ID cards when conducting commercial and industrial registrations as WeChat ID cards are sufficient," said a staff member working at Nansha district's administrative service centre in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

There are two versions of WeChat ID cards: the "lightweight version" and the "upgraded version". The "lightweight version" can be used for unofficial work such as registering at internet cafes, and the "upgraded version" is designed for more formal occassions requiring secure authentication, including business registrations.

People can use an applet on WeChat searching for the certificate to get a black and white "lightweight version" ID card, and also can use an approved app setting a 8-digital password to get a coloured "upgraded version" ID card.

According to the police, using WeChat ID cards is not only convenient, but also secure and accurate. The "network certificate" information is connected to a person's face, fingerprint, and physical ID card chip which makes it almost impossible to be counterfeited. Besides, there are specific measures dealing with card loss problem, including deleting the user's certificate information as soon as the person logs in to the WeChat account on another phone.

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