back to article China declares a new era of digitization has begun

China's president Xi Jinping has declared "there can be no modernization without informatization,” and outlined a strategy for how the world's most populous nation will use information technology to transform society and government. A document posted by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) quotes Xi as saying " …

  1. Detective Emil

    "Informatization" (yuck)

    According to Google, that translates as 信息化 (pronounced Xìnxī huà), which, if you ask your device to say it, sounds more melifluous than the jawbreaking English buzzword.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: "Informatization" (yuck)

      Well indeed. I appreciate that English is not his first language, but you'd think he'd have some sort of advisors on his PR staff...

  2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Is it just me that sees this as an ID card system to control people in every aspect of their digital lives just in case they get any ideas not in keeping with the CCP?

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      "...network security protection system that adapts to the times – offering peerless data security and personal privacy."

      That politically translates as your life at our behest. Just add currency to the card, eliminate cash and the single card means the state can control everything from housing to drugs to telephones or internet access at the tap of a key and, more importantly, relate all the data including some physical movements using RFID.

      Big data - controlling governments love it ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Andy The Hat - If you're not controlling

        then you're not a government.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, it's not just you because it's become blindingly obvious.

      The Chinese social credit system is already fully up and running with such niceties as dobbing in your fellow citizens when you witness transgressions as minor as stumbling home from a heavy drinking session at the pub. This has the effect of boosting your own social score and diminishing that of your neighbour which in turn can lead to limitations on travel and fines.

      The next stage is government controlled digital currency and the cashless society. Once that happens every citizen will absolutely be at the mercy of their respective governments.

      Unfortunately, there are large swathes of the population, including those that inhabit this forum, that are actively against the solution, namely decentralised crypto currencies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Decentralized crypto currencies my leg

        as the recent war in Ukraine has showed us.

      2. DS999 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Crypto is not a currency

        Almost nothing can be bought with it directly. If it is converted into dollars or euros or whatever at the time of purchase, in what way exactly is it the "solution" for anything?

        Besides, any government that can mandate a "cashless society" can also outlaw crypto. How you gonna get around that, clueless AC?

      3. Robert Helpmann??
        Devil

        There's also the matter of the "one card" being literally that: a single card. I equate that with a single point of failure. What happens when some government jobsworth pushes a patch out to a bunch of authentication servers this thing makes use of which causes the lot to go down? Or someone decides it's a good way to protest a horrible and oppressive regime? Hilarity will ensue.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Paul Crawford - Actually

      the same thing figures on the agenda of the newly created Ministère de la Cybersécurité et du Numérique in the province of Québec, Canada. Every little bit up to including facial recognition which the provincial government assured us it will be entirely optional. The only difference is they propose the use of your good old cellular phone instead of a card (hey we're doing better than China here).

      It seems to me China is a little bit late with this announcement.

      Oh, and the federal government has similar plans. National digital identity and all the blah, blah.

      1. MrTuK

        Re: @Paul Crawford - Actually

        Canada has been in the pocket of the CCP for years - Sadly :(

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Paul Crawford - Exactly!

      Same thing here:

      https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/atb-ventures-to-help-canadian-government-with-its-digital-id-efforts/473393

      A financial institution helping the government to ID its citizens. How interesting!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Paul Crawford - Exactly!

        The article you link to doesn't say that.

        But your conclusion is correct – for several years now the Canadian federal government has been relying on private financial institutions to ID residents of Canada. There's no fully centralised system in place yet, but several news stories in recent months have been saying that's in the works.

        It brings up a fundamentally hard problem: How do you prevent identity fraud without undermining privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of thought?

        It's made even harder by that fact that corporations and governments have little incentive to solve the problem. It's not unique to China – every country in the world is going to need to figure this out.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Re: @Paul Crawford - Exactly!

          It's not hard at all for governments.

          Something tells me a lot of governments would love to get rid of freedom of speech and freedom of association and preventing fraud will give them a solid excuse. They will not outright forbid those freedoms, just make them unattainable and costly for non-compliant citizens (this is where financial sector comes in hand). And this stands true not only for those authoritarian governments.

          You can keep your freedom of thought for now although digital advertising industry is more interested in it than governments.

        2. MrTuK

          Re: @Paul Crawford - Exactly!

          China wants 100% total control, if you don't toe the line 100% then no job, no money, no travel, no purchasing food or anything they can turn of any or all Gov services and yes everything is CCP Gov Services as far as it is concerned.

          Now the free democratic countries are following suit - sheeez What a sad world is coming where you won't be able to criticise anyone or any Gov in any way whatsoever, So you don't like xyz, ok your ID Card is no invalid for payments or purchases oh, sorry it was done in error sir, it was just a simple mistake and we are so sorry that its taken 5 years to resolve.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "no modernization without informatization"

    And no informatization without Xi watching over all of it.

    No thank you.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Behold the new era of digital tyranny!

    And where China goes, the West shall follow.

  5. druck Silver badge
    WTF?

    Blockchain?

    The plan is for the card to run on a mooted "big platform" that uses blockchain

    Could there be any less reason to use blockchain than in the world largest all encompassing bureaucracy?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain?

      Nice to see that even China's government can get caught up in Gartner style hype cycles. Waiting for them to declare 6G wireless a national priority in the next five year plan.

  6. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    They assume it will work

    They've never heard of the NHS then.

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