WeChat to Replace Travel Docs at Border Crossings, Tencent Says

By Bailey Hu, June 7, 2018

0 0

UPDATE (June 13, 2018 at 1.41pm CST): The title of this article has been changed to reflect that only travel permits, not passports, are required for mainland, Hong Kong and Macau citizens to cross the borders between territories.

Residents of Guangdong and Hong Kong may be among the first to test a WeChat feature that would allow expedited travel between the two areas, no travel documents required, according to Reuters.

The report cited announcements made yesterday by Tencent, the behemoth that owns China's most popular social networking app.

Although no timeline has been given for rollout, Tencent stated that it's working with authorities to implement a 'Scan-WeChat-to-Cross-Border’ program at checkpoints between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

READ MORE: 12 Amazing WeChat Features You Might Not Know About

The scheme would link the travel documents of mainland and Hong Kong citizens (not foreigners, unfortunately) to their WeChat accounts, allowing them to cross the border by scanning faces and codes.

According to Reuters, the new WeChat program has already been approved by the Ministry of Public Security, while Hong Kong's administration gave 'no immediate response' on their stance.

Residents of the Greater Bay area – encompassing Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and seven other cities in Guangdong – would be the first to try the program whenever it launches.

READ MORE: WeChat Pay Now Accepting International Credit Cards

Encryption would prevent leaks of any personal information, according to Tencent.

It's not a huge stretch for WeChat, which previously partnered with the Chinese government to bring us convenient features such as divorce registration via app. And Tencent is also running a pilot plan for Guangdong residents to link ID cards and drivers licenses with their WeChat accounts, Reuters reports.

Expedited crossings, on top of everything else, would be a boon for frequent cross-border travelers. Currently, even e-channel users must scan their fingerprints, faces and travel documents at Hong Kong-mainland checkpoints. Other travelers face long lines and manual checks of their documents in addition to scans.

READ MORE: Here's How to Skip Airport Lines in China with a Z Visa

[Cover image via Wikimedia/Daniel Case]

more news

Legendary Hong Kong Impresario Andrew Bull and Wife Sally Kwok

"At one party confetti cannons were stuffed with US$10,000 full of bills and fired off every half an hour, showering the dance floor with cash.”

What's On in Hong Kong: July 2019

Five fun events to check out this month in Hong Kong!

Wild Boar Disrupts Hong Kong Metro, Sends Woman to Hospital

On Wednesday, June 19, a wild boar was seen running around Hong Kong’s Kennedy Town MTR station.

Tear Gas Accidentally Released in Central Hong Kong

Fire trucks and a police squad car from the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Bureau were quickly dispatched to the scene.

Last Chance to Buy Tickets to See Comedian Tom Green in Hong Kong

That's right… Tom Green is coming to Hong Kong this April!

Is Hong Kong Set to Build the World’s Largest Artificial Islands?

It might break the city's economy and put an already endangered sea creature at higher risk.

Hong Kong Considered World's Most Expensive City

​Hong Kong is now tied with two other cities – Paris and Singapore – for the lofty title of the world’s most expensive city.

Subway Crash in Hong Kong Disrupts City Commuters

On March 18, two subway trains collided along one of Hong Kong’s main routes, causing a major disruption for commuters throughout the day.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsShenzhen for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shenzhen With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's PRD!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.