One hundred residents of Huzhou City in the east China's Zhejiang Province received their new computerized ID cards Monday morning, marking the start of China's effort to upgrade its first-generation cards that have been used for nearly 20 years.
The second-generation cards were also distributed in east China's Shanghai Municipality and Shenzhen City of south China's Guangdong Province Monday.
The newly released plastic chip ID card contains information such as validity period, authorization institution and designs of the national emblem, the Great Wall and decorative patterns are printed on the front cover. The card holder's name, gender, ethnicity, birthday, residence, ID number and photo are on the back cover.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) started to consider changing the first-generation ID cards a few years ago due to quality and security flaws in the old cards, which cannot be recognized by computers.
MPS official Bao Suixian said while attending Monday's card-releasing ceremony in Huzhou City that the generational shift of China's ID cards will help to modernize China's population management works and further informatize the Chinese society.
Digital anti-forgery technologies are used in making the new ID cards and greatly facilitates authentication and storage of the cards, said experts.
In addition to Huzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, the new ID cards will be officially distributed nationwide in 2005 as the issuing of the first-generation cards halts. The shift is expected to finish by the end of 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2004)