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Authorities’ Attitude Key to Success of Digital Governance: Pony Ma

By Isabelle Li and Luo Guoping / Jul 23, 2019 05:08 AM / Business & Tech

Pony Ma Huateng. Photo: VCG

Pony Ma Huateng. Photo: VCG

E-governance, a term used to describe a transformation in public administration that aims to move governmental services online, is one of the latest markets Chinese tech giants look to take on.

But how effective and successful the collaboration between tech companies and local governments can be will depend on authorities’ commitment to such a reform, Tencent Holdings founder and Chairman Pony Ma Huateng said Sunday at an e-governance forum.

Home to the Shenzhen-based internet giant, the South China province of Guangdong is advanced in digitizing public administration. The Guangdong government started a province-wide digital governance project named “Digital Guangdong” in 2009 and has pushed for building shared tech infrastructures across different cities and bureaus since the end of 2017.

The province handed over the project’s operation to a company jointly set up in October 2017 by Tencent, China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom. Tencent is the biggest shareholder with 49%, while the country’s three biggest telecom operators share the remaining 51%.

The company is in close coordination with the provincial government. Guangdong’s Chief Governor Ma Xingrui has visited its office three times with dozens of bureau chiefs since its establishment less than two years ago, Caixin has learned.

Another Shenzhen-based tech giant, Huawei, is also involved in the provincial project. Huawei has played a role in planning, constructing and running governmental service platforms including helping to build cloud platforms for 14 cities in the province, according to Huawei’s Chief Information Officer Tao Jingwen, who also attended the forum.

Related: Project to Allow WeChat to Serve as ID in China’s Greater Bay Area

Contact reporter Isabelle Li (liyi@caixin.com)

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