Chinese government digitizes national healthcare system with Alibaba and Tencent

Beijing is moving more and more of its governmental services online.

Photo: Stock.tuchong.com

WeChat Pay and Alipay, China’s mobile payment duopoly operated by Tencent and Alibaba respectively, are further embedded in the Chinese’s everyday life by integrating themselves into the country’s national healthcare system.

In seven piloting provinces and cities, the National Healthcare Security Administration has just started issuing electronic certificates that could be used as the digital version of China’s social security card which gives Chinese citizens access to their national healthcare insurance scheme.

Residents from the aforementioned places could active their e-certificates either through a dedicated app associated with the scheme, or, via WeChat Pay and Alipay if they are already users of the two payment apps.

With their certificates activated, WeChat or Alipay users will be able to enjoy all the benefits provided by their physical social security card, but without the hassle of having to bring one when they are making doctor appointments, paying for or reimbursing medicines and healthcare services.

This is not the first time the Chinese mobile payment duo incorporates their platforms to public services in China.

In 2018, the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security launched the electronic social security cards nationwide. The card will enable users to access information such as their identification, employment, and payment records. People can also make online payments via WeChat Pay and Alipay for social security expenses, including registration fees for insurance, training and test fees, and other relevant payments, reported by state media People.cn.

KrASIA reported that China’s government launched mini-programs on WeChat and Alipay that provide a wide variety of government services in June, which give users access to 200 government services regardless of their geological or time restrictions. These services cover different forms of inquiries, payments, applications, and complaints across such matters as digital ID, education, civil administration, social security, entry and exits from the country, business registration, cultural travel, and the judicial system.