By Li Jie, People's Daily Overseas Edition
As of Nov. 20, over 300 million Chinese citizens had already applied for and received the digitalsocial security card. The number surpassed 100 million by the end of January and 200 million bythe end of June this year. That means over 20 percent of Chinese people have access to convenient employment and othersocial security services online. In China, 417 digital social security card service channels have been opened, and the onlineservices can be easily obtained through commonly used apps or mini-programs. The e-card thatallows direct access to such services will make holders’ life easier and more convenient. For example, digital social security card mobile payment has been supported in 224 prefecturesand cities in 27 provinces for medical treatment and drug purchase settlement. 22 cities have setup UnionPay travel codes, allowing citizens to use electronic social security cards for travel. Among 300 million holders of digital social security cards, the youngest is a 1-month-old babywhile the eldest is a 118-year-old senior. So far, 7.75 million elderly people and children can enjoyonline social security services through their digital social security cards, with their familymembers helping apply for and receive the e-card on behalf of them. All prefectures and cities across China, from Jiamusi city and Daxing'anling prefecture innortheast China to Sansha in south China and Kizilsu Kyrgyz autonomous prefecture in northwestChina, have provided digital social security services. The number of internet users in China had reached 940 million as of June this year, and 99.2percent of them used mobile phones to surf the internet, according to a report on China’s internetdevelopment. In this regard, digital social security cards based on mobile phones are an inevitable choice tomeet the requirements of the internet era. It is estimated that more than 500 million people willhave digital social security cards in 2021. E-card holders can get many things done by showing their e-cards, scanning the QR code of the e-card, or having their faces scanned at government service centers. They can also log into theirsocial security accounts by scanning the QR code on a self-service machine or an online serviceplatform. China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security aims to improve IT-based socialsecurity services in about two years. Specifically, full services and functions of the e-card will beavailable, including the holders’ identity-based service access, making social securitycontributions, receiving allowances, and work-related injury insurance settlement. The ministry will also include matters that can be handled via one website and other matters thatcan be handled online into the digital social security card, so that citizens can access servicesanytime and anywhere.