China to Roll out Smartphone ID Cards in 2018

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Chinese are likely to leave the house without our IDs than our smartphones. That’s the idea behind a pilot program in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, which intends to eliminate the need for Chinese citizens to carry their physical ID cards as early as next year. The first “virtual national identity card” was issued during an event kicking off the campaign that took place on Monday.

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The virtual IDs are available in two versions: A mini app on Tencent’s WeChat platform and a more secure version that involves scanning a QR code at a local public security bureau. Besides for basic information, the ID will also need a face scan.

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