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Digital technology injects vitality, strength into China's governance
 
Date:2019-11-06  Source:Xinhua
 Sitting in front of a computer in his office, Huang Jinhuo, who runs a machinery company in east China's Fujian Province, completed the filing of an export tax rebate with just a few clicks of his mouse.

Once the application is verified, the drawback will be transferred to the company's account in two or three days. Previously, such a process used to take at least a month and a lot of legwork.

Launched in 2017, the online "tax bureau" gives citizens online access to 118 tax-related services, connecting data with banks and other government departments like public security and business administration.

China has seen e-government apps incorporating a wide range of government and public services mushrooming across the country. They are part of the government's efforts to improve efficiency to benefit residents and businesses alike, which has injected vitality and strength into a more modernized and smarter mode of governance.

Today, more than 100,000 residents in the coastal city of Xiamen use an app named i-Xiamen every day to buy bus tickets, pay tuition fees and manage social security accounts without the need to visit government offices.

A total of 30 provincial-level regions have established integrated e-government platforms that incorporate government services down to the county level, with the number of real-name users amounting to 145 million by 2018, according to a report released in May by the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

With the latest big data, AI and 5G technologies, access to city services is expected to become easier as the country develops smarter ways to run its cities in the process of urbanization.

Several leading tech companies have rolled out "smart city" solutions.

In the eastern city of Hangzhou, ambulances and fire engines can avoid gridlock, and all red lights turn green when the vehicles approach with the aid of City Brain, an AI-powered platform developed by Alibaba which aims at improving city management.

"We're getting to the scene much more quickly, and we're better prepared with rescue plans made in advance," said Shentu Shilei, deputy chief of the fire brigade of Yuhang District, Hangzhou.

Zhang Qiwei, chief architect of City Brain, said intelligent social governance cannot be achieved without the digital transformation of government.

Digital technologies have also seen a bigger presence in poverty alleviation and corruption prevention.

In 2017, Fujian launched an online monitoring platform that allows villagers to scrutinize the management of poverty-relief funds and report any signs of corruption.

Yang Xuejin, an impoverished villager in Jianning County in northern Fujian, said it was easy to check government subsidies and allowances to poor families on his mobile phone.

By connecting with the government's service and anti-corruption platforms, the online monitoring platform helps expose hidden forms of "micro corruption" and deter attempts to embezzle poverty-relief funds.

Last Thursday, the 19th Central Committee of the CPC concluded its fourth plenary session, which reviewed and adopted the CPC Central Committee's decision on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance. 

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