Police in Guangzhou of southern China have issued the country’s first WeChat ID on Dec. 25. The e-ID can be used in place of a physical ID card for identity authentication, whenever and wherever necessary, Guangzhou Daily reported on Dec. 26.
The e-IDs will be tested in Guangdong province before being promoted across the country by January 2018.
Guangdong residents can apply for and obtain a black-and-white e-ID using WeChat’s facial recognition feature, which can be used to prove one’s identity; for instance, for real-name registration in Internet cafes.
Residents can get an updated version of e-ID via an identity authentication app developed by the police, set a password for it, and scan their physical ID cards on the platform. This e-ID is more useful and can be used for things like business registration.
Guangzhou police have teamed up with Internet giant Tencent, China Construction Bank, and 10 other agencies to facilitate the incorporation of e-IDs into citizens’ smartphones.