May 1, 2018
The next generation of identity solutions will be fully digitized and most likely smartphone-focused. So far, there is only one place in the world where the most advanced identity management and authentication solutions exist, with their parent companies extending capabilities into smartphone-powered digital identities.
Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, also known as ‘BAT,’ may not be household names in the Western part of the world yet, but in China, these companies are nothing short of complete control over one of the largest consumer markets in the world. The control comes from the power struggle to become the platform for the next generation of identity solutions in the country. As reported by SCMP in December 2017, a day after being used in a pilot program to replace state government-issued IDs, Tencent Holdings’ WeChat has been adopted by Beijing Court as a means for people to file lawsuits electronically. Parties in a legal case can submit documents, verify their identity, and pay legal fees through the WeChat prosecution service platform operated by Beijing Haidian court.
The service platform uses character recognition technology for document scanning and facial recognition for ID verification. It is also connected with information centers for China’s household registration system, which officially records all resident information including full name and date of birth.