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Press Release for Media Briefing of the Shanghai Municipal Government on July 27, 2021

July 28, 2021

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a municipal government press conference today (July 27). Ma Chunlei, Secretary-general of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, introduced the city’s reform in unified e-governance. Zhu Zongyao, Deputy Director of the General Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government, Liu Bin, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission, Fan Hongfei, Chief of the Legal Affairs Division of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, Li Junshen, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Taxation Bureau, and Yang Yuanfei, Vice Governor of Changing District also attended the press conference and answered the questions by journalists.

Shanghai started the reform three years ago when the unified e-governance portal was launched for trial operation on July 1st, 2018. The reform has made significant achievements with the support of all districts, government departments, enterprises, the general public.

1. Shanghai’s Unified E-governance Capacity Ranks First in China

The concept of unified e-governance was created in Shanghai, and the reform was marked as a classic case in the UN’s E-government Survey 2020. In an assessment report that was released in 2021 by China’s National Academy of Governance in 2021, Shanghai was ranked number one in e-governance capacity. Shanghai QR Code, e-certificates, e-stamps, and other tools of unified e-governance have significantly contributed to the city’s digital transformation.

Over the last three years, 357 reforms have been applied to the unified e-governance. People can get access to 3197 service items on the unified e-governance portal in which available public services have outnumbered government services. The portal has handled 150 million cases and has launched since 2018 an international version and another one for senior residents. The portal has registered this year 9.85 million new individual users and 125,800 new corporate users. Overall, the portal has registered more than 54 million individual users (11.56 million locals and 387,000 foreigners) and 2.27 million corporate users. The unified e-governance app has a maximum of 15.17 million monthly active users. Its Shanghai QR Code service as used 3.7 billion times. Its citizen and corporate pages have been visited more than 8 billion times. The app has pushed policy service information to 230 million people.

More than 70% of the cases the unified e-governance portal received were handled online. The portal’s e-certificate database has collected 140 million frequently used certificates in 604 categories so that applicants do not need to repetitively submit them. The database has been used 530 million times, which helps reduce the time of case handling by 62% on average. 99.96% of individual and corporate users say they are satisfied with the portal’s services.

2. Shanghai Deepens the Reform in Unified E-governance

The Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committed adopted a working plan early this year to summarize the experience of the reform and to outline the tasks for the next three years. The new tasks aim at transformation in three aspects.

(1) From technology-driven to institution-driven

The reform was mostly driven by technology over the last three years. In the next three years, unified e-governance will be upgraded. The upcoming reform will involve governance innovation, reshaping, and restructuring. Therefore, the reform will be driven more by the institution.

The Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress passed a decision on June 23rd this year to promote the reform in the unified e-governance. The decision took effect on July 1st. The decision has institutionalized the innovative measures of the reform and clarified the future step to explore the Shanghai model of better government services. Lawmakers have also drafted a bill concerning data regulation to promote the construction of e-government and a data factor market.

(2) From government services to public and convenient services

The scope of the unified e-governance services will be expanded. Its philosophy will be applied to public and convenient services to cover all the areas that are closely related to individuals and corporations. The expanded services will cover 97 service scenarios in 18 major categories. For individuals, the e-services will cover 12 categories from womb to tomb, including baby care, health care, transportation, education, sporting, tourism, cultural events, housing, food and drug safety, environment protection, social welfare, legal affair, and pension. For corporations, the e-services will cover 6 categories, including start-up, change and cancellation, preferential policies, inclusive finance, comprehensive tax payment, special funds, and employment.

The application of the Shanghai QR Code will also be expanded. For example, it will be used in health care to save people’s time in registration and fee payment. In the future, it will enable residents to go to hospitals without taking their social security cards and health care books. The Shanghai QR Code will be combined with the city’s bus and metro QR codes. It will also be used when people check in at local hotels.

The unified e-governance model will be promoted in the Yangtze River Delta region. 119 inter-provincial services are available. More than 5 million cases have been handled entirely online. Physical windows are accessible in 41 cities in the region. The e-government service map of the Yangtze River delta region was launched on May 28th. It covers 12 frequently used services. For example, people can now check in at hotels in the region with electronic ID cards. They can also withdraw their provident funds in other provinces.

(3) From government-centered to user-centered

Shanghai will focus on the common demands of individuals and corporations to optimize its unified e-governance and further improve its efficiency. User experience will become the only benchmark to evaluate the quality of the services. Individuals and corporations will decide how well the unified e-governance performs. Over the last three years, the government has focused on constructing a unified portal. From this year on, the reform will focus on making more services available.

Shanghai improved the efficiency of 15 services last year, saving applicants’ time by an average of 54%. 75% of previously required materials have been eliminated. The unified e-governance portal handled more than one million such cases last year. The city will improve the efficiency of 12 more services this year. Two of them, credit information restoration and disability insurance collection and payment, have already been optimized. The remaining ten will be available before the end of September.

Government service halls across Shanghai will also be reformed. In the future, people will only need to visit one window to receive all the services they want. One comprehensive window will receive people’s applications, classify their documents for government approvals, and give feedbacks. 80% of windows at all government service halls will become such comprehensive ones by the end of this year.

Shanghai will start a pilot to provide good and quick services in unified e-governance. For those involving complicated procedures, individuals and corporations will receive personalized guidance and intelligent application support. For those involving simple procedures, individuals and corporations can finish their applications in three minutes without submitting any material. 104 good services 123 quick services will be available before the end of October.

In addition, Shanghai is promoting the reform of “one-certificate-applies-to-one-business”. The reform was approved by the State Council and was launched in Pudong New Area. It has helped significantly reduce the cost of business entry. The reform was expanded in April this year to cover all districts in Shanghai. More than 550 comprehensive business certificates have been issued since then.

3. Outlining A Clear Pathway of Reform in the Unified E-governance

Shanghai is a city that pursues excellence, and such a philosophy is well reflected when the city introduces every reform and launches every service in the unified e-governance. In this way, the portal will provide more convenience and more people will love to use it.

Shanghai will build a highly efficient service system by standardizing public services, optimizing procedures, strengthening coordination, and making full use of big data, artificial intelligence, and other technologies. The city will focus more on improving the outcomes of the services and become more active in responding to the need for services. Shanghai will provide more standardized, convenient, and intelligent government and public services as its effort to pursue digital transformation.