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Business

Tencent to make Chongqing 'smarter'

GUANGZHOU, China -- China's online service provider Tencent Holdings has signed a partnership deal with the Chongqing municipal government to promote a smart city project.

     The move aims to make Chongqing's medical and other public services more convenient for citizens through the use of Tencent technology.

     Tencent will allow people to access and use the city's administrative services through its social app, WeChat. For instance, WeChat users will be able to apply for passports, marriage registrations and birth registrations through the app. The service eliminates the trouble of going to local administrative offices and should make the city more efficient.

     Other services, such as water and electricity bill payments, traffic information, hospital reservations and medical results, are planned after thorough studies are completed.

     Under the plan, Tencent will set up a cloud computing server center in Chongqing, the fourth such facility in China, by the end of this year. The company will spend approximately $1 billion to install 300,000 servers there.

     At the National People's Congress in March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang unveiled a plan to promote an "Internet Plus" initiative as part of Beijing's national strategy. The initiative is designed to push the use of cloud computing and big data in industries and sectors that have not traditionally used such information technology. It aims to increase convenience and stimulate industry.

     The Tencent-Chongqing partnership is in line with the government initiative. Observers expect that other municipalities will follow suit and incorporate the Internet technology into their administrative services, adding momentum to smart city projects in China.

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