Through merging civil databases DLT is also being used in an effort to make government services more efficient, for example by merging data to streamline the processing of personal data. In April 2020 the Haidian district in Beijing, which is home to China’s number one tech hub Zhongguancun and to China’s biggest blockchain industrial development park, created a local blockchain to verify and store documents related to government services – 1,621 in total – making the submission of paper copies unnecessary.
According to deputy director Hu Yuguo, personal identification and data verification can be extrapolated in real-time from the “One Network Portal” (一网通办). The district government claims that national, municipal and district-level data, including business licenses, marriage information, information on disabled persons, and patent certificate information can all be collected on the system.
Haidian has also merged a plethora of data relating to individuals provided by the Ministry of Education and the Civil Affairs Bureau, including ID card information, residence permits, marriage and divorce certificates, electronic business licenses, tax credit rating information, environmental assessment information, medical institutions’ licensing, housing qualification information, and more. Two months later, the city government of Beijing revealed plans to expand such blockchain-based government services for cross-border trade and enterprise banking.
Few other governments around the world have made more efforts to support the integration of blockchain technology than China’s. From fighting the “Three Critical Battles” (三大攻坚战) of financial risks, poverty alleviation and pollution, to the “Action Plan for Industrial Internet Development (2018-2020)”, China is seeking to leverage the technology for various high-profile policy initiatives.
At the “2020 Beijing Cyber Security Conference and Blockchain Security Forum”, the emphasis was on implementing DLT to strengthen China’s overall cyber security standard rather than improving traditional security protection systems. National security researchers and industry representatives praised DLT for its security capabilities and claimed that it could be used to support the legitimate transfer of government data. In the eyes of the CCID, “Blockchain solves crucial bottleneck issues of traditional digitalization around data sharing responsibilities, access authentication and privacy protection.”