New Straits Times

Tencent called for ID link


HONG KONG: Tencent Holdings Ltd chairman Ma Huateng called on the Chinese government to introduce an ID system that would link multiple sets of travel documents with a mobile phone as part of a plan to boost regional trade between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

China’s second-richest man said new technology systems and laws could let Hong Kong residents make electronic payments and cross the border more easily.

Ma was speaking at a press conference in Beijing, two days before the country’s legislativ­e council convenes in the capital to set the year’s agenda.

“It’s still very complicate­d and we’d need to make it work with the Customs systems but from a technology point of view we can do it,” said Ma.

“We have been talking to the chief executive in Hong Kong for quite some time about a number of these issues, including the electronic ID.”

While championin­g greater technology innovation and prosperity, the plan is also a lightning rod in Hong Kong — now an autonomous self-governing city — that’s becoming increasing­ly wary of political meddling from Beijing.

Ma has advocated integratio­n in the Pearl River Delta region, saying Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong province can be more like the San Francisco Bay technology hub in the US if it gets easier to move around.

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