Chinese media outlet Global Times reported on November 4 that China recently launched a new blockchain-based identification system for the nation’s smart cities. The Times relied on reports from the state-run Xinhua News Agency, which confirmed that the new ID system was launched in Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei Province.
According to Zhongguancun Industry & Information Research Institute of Two-dimensional Code Technology director Zhang Chao, the new system was developed in China. The institute was one of three involved in the joint launch of the new initiative:
"The system will be independently distributed and managed by China, with a unified distribution rule, a resolution of distributed storage and tamper-resistant code."
Reports suggest that the new ID system is designed to improve data-sharing and connectivity between China’s cities. Each city will be assigned its own unique global digital ID.
China has been increasingly turning to blockchain technology to resolve new and emerging challenges to the country’s growing infrastructure needs. As Global Times noted:
China began smart city construction in 2016. As increasing numbers of people are moving to cities, new and higher demands are placed on urban planning, construction, management and services, posing huge challenges to infrastructure.
Areas that are closely related to city management are under pressure, including education, medical care, urban water supply and drainage, sewage treatment, gas supply, transportation and environmental protection. Therefore, the construction and development levels of cities must be improved to better meet such development needs.