A new system of official digital ID has been integrated with Alipay for making ID-validated purchases such as train tickets and for checking into hotels in test areas in eastern China.

The “Resident ID Online Verification Certificate” (our translation: “居民身份证网上功能凭证”) uses the “Internet+ Trusted Identity Authentication Platform”, also known as CTID, (our translation: “互联网+可信身份认证平台”), according to Xinhua (in Chinese). The system has been developed by the Ministry for Public Security’s First Research Institute. CTID is the system behind the trials of digital ID within WeChat late last year.

The Alipay integration is now being trialed in Hangzhou and Quzhou in Zhejiang, plus Fuzhou. Registered users in the three cities can make transactions that are fully validated from within Alipay itself, without having to separately supply the details of or show their standard ID card. These include coach and train tickets as well as checking into hotels. The Alipay ID is also valid in local authority service halls.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...