The city of Shanghai will be among the first places in China to
introduce an electronic identity card for its residents, according
to official and business sources.
has already developed integrated-circuit (IC) cards for public
transport and social security.
June 2001, the State Council approved the use of IC technology to
produce an upgraded version of the country's current paper ID
The Shanghai Public Security Bureau's identity-card issuing center
said Shanghai will be a pilot city for the issue of the second
generation of residents' identity cards. The IC cards will contain
legally authorized detailed digital personal information.
The Ministry of Public Security will decide on the timetable for
the issue of the new ID card in Shanghai but has not yet done so,
said an official at the Shanghai center who refused to be
The Shanghai Huahong (Group) Co Ltd, which is the main developer of
the city's public transport IC card, last month submitted a chip
design for the new identity card to the Ministry of Public Security
for evaluation, according to company sources.
Lou Jun, a senior marketing manager with the company, told China
Daily that Huahong was the first chip-design company to submit
the design is approved, the company can be expected to design and
produce electronic ID cards for residents in East China, according
Industry sources said that another three or four domestic
chip-design companies are also in the competition. The central
government will choose one or two designs to conduct regional tests
Shanghai already uses an advanced IC card in its traffic and social
The city's current social-security card system began in 1998. The
integrated-circuit card that is used contains a cardholder's
personal information, including data on medical insurance, social
security and public housing funds received and employment.
Shanghai is one of six pilot cities and regions testing such a
social-security database system.
More than 90 percent of local employers have been given the
social-security cards, according to the Shanghai Social-Security
Card Service Center.
Shanghai's public-transport IC cards were introduced at the end of
1999 and give cardholders access to different types of public
transport in the city using a single payment system.
More than 4 million transport cards have been issued and the
payment system covers neighboring cities such as Suzhou and Wuxi in
East China's Jiangsu Province.
Shanghai is now a major chip industry base in China, producing more
than 60 percent of the country's semiconductors, according to local
(China Daily February 24, 2003)