SCIO press conference on employment, social security

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The more than 1.3 billion social security cards issued in China have been playing an increasingly crucial role. Are there any recent updates regarding social security cards that you would like to share with us? Additionally, what steps will your ministry take to improve the work in this area?

Wang Xiaoping:

Thanks for your questions. Vice minister Li Zhong, responsible for social security work, will answer them.

Li Zhong:

I appreciate your interest in our work. The social security card is an essential way for people to access public services related to their livelihoods. In recent years, we have been working with stakeholders to promote the development of a multi-functional, all-in-one card for various public services. We have been continuously enhancing its functions, and our progress can be observed in the following four aspects:

First, we have comprehensively integrated features related to human resources and social security. People can access a total of 95 services with their cards, including employment registration, professional training, social insurance payments, and pension withdrawals, providing convenient services for the public. 

Second, we have been exploring possible features related to people's livelihoods that can be incorporated into the social security card. Many regions in China have introduced government services, medical services, transportation, sightseeing, cultural experiences, and government subsidies for urban and rural residents. Currently, the physical social security card allows for trans-provincial settlement of medical bills in all prefecture-level regions across China. Nearly 70 prefecture-level regions allow for the settlement of medical services and medicine purchases through an electronic social security card. Nearly 200 prefecture-level regions use social security cards to grant urban and rural residents financial subsidies. In some regions, people can use the card to pay public transportation fees, borrow books from libraries, and enter parks and tourist attractions. The public have benefited from the integration of so many features.

Third, we have been coordinating the development of both physical and electronic versions of social security cards. While ensuring that physical cards are issued to the general public, we are also speeding up the introduction of electronic cards. More than 740 million Chinese people have obtained electronic cards, the online service enabled by which runs parallel to the offline service provided by physical cards and provides the public with enriched experiences of high-efficiency smart services.

Fourth, we have actively promoted the regional "all-in-one card" services. For example, we have promoted regional cooperative legislation in the three provinces and one directly administered municipality in the Yangtze River Delta and explored new methods to achieve the "same treatment in different cities" for public services. In Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality, we have realized over 30 cooperative services regarding human resources and social security based on social security cards. Moreover, by using social security cards as a carrier, we have built a regional book rental system, allowing people to use their social security cards to borrow and return books in both regions. Hainan and Guangdong provinces have jointly issued such "all-in-one cards," which combine a social security card with an annual travel card, realizing the "same treatment in different cities" for cross-provincial travel consumption and enabling the public in these two provinces to enjoy the benefits of the "all-in-one cards."

In the next step, we will take social security cards as the carrier and promote the "all-in-one cards" for residents to enjoy various services. We will attach more nationwide service applications to the "all-in-one cards" and strive to use more data to benefit people and make the cards more convenient for the public. Thanks.

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