Perspectives

Smartphones are an absolute necessity in modern life, and the advent of QR code scanning has greatly eased the completion of various everyday tasks. Ping An International Smart City Technology Company Limited (Ping An Smart City) has the building blocks to construct smart cities through artificial intelligence (AI), big data and blockchain, which have been critical to respond to the challenges brought by COVID-19. Despite the quarantine measures earlier this year, smart city services have enhanced the livability and vibrancy of metropolitan Shenzhen, providing its 25 million citizens with uninterrupted access to essential municipal services.

Ping An Smart City is a Shenzhen-based technology company under the Ping An Group, focusing on the construction of the Ping An Smart City ecosystem, including technological innovations to aid smart city management and transition. Ping An Smart City, in partnership with the Shenzhen Municipal Government, introduced the iShenzhen app in January 2019, to offer more than 7000 municipal services in one place. The app is enabled by blockchain electronic documentation and AI customer service, allowing municipal services to be carried out as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app has also reduced average processing times: for instance, it took an average of one to two hours for an individual to complete a municipal application offline, but now on the app, it takes less than 20 minutes.

Blockchain technology plays an important role in protecting the privacy of individuals, enterprises and governments throughout the data collection and transmission process. The Blockchain ID (BCID) platform developed by Ping An Smart City uses blockchain technology to generate unique QR codes for payment, transport and tourism services, improving efficiency for citizens, corporates and the government alike. In Shenzhen, citizens can upload up to 50 types of electronic identification documents, including ID cards, residence permits and household registration booklets onto the platform. Following that, users can authorize the usage or authentication of documentation when it is verified and permitted in person. That platform has consolidated over 100 million data sets, benefiting 25 million citizens and 3.5 million businesses in Shenzhen, as personal information of citizens is protected online with encryption while municipal applications are implified and more convenient.

In addition, BCID offers an “ease-of-rent” service, which allows property owners and tenants to easily authenticate each other’s information, including residence permits, certificates of no criminal conviction and property ownership certificates during the rental process. This service enables rental transactions to be carried out online while social distancing measures are in place.

In terms of customer service, AskBob, the smart municipal services Q&A tool developed by Ping An Smart Life, a business unit of Ping An Smart City, has become one of the Group’s key AI technological achievements. Facing different types of inquiries, AskBob’s natural language processing capabilities enable it to analyze all potential scenarios and underlying requests during conversations to provide appropriate responses and solutions. At present, AskBob has created the "chat-as-service" scenario in the "iShenzhen" app. Through voice conversations with the robot, online service agreements can be signed, improving service efficiency and user satisfaction. The AskBob chat service has a high conversation accuracy of 97% and a high consultation efficiency of 80%, based on the significantly shorter time for robot consultations compared to manual consultations.

Ping An Smart City is a Shenzhen-based technology company under the Ping An Group, focusing on the construction of the Ping An Smart City ecosystem, including technological innovations to aid smart city management and transition. Ping An Smart City, in partnership with the Shenzhen Municipal Government, introduced the iShenzhen app in January 2019, to offer more than 7000 municipal services in one place. The app is enabled by blockchain electronic documentation and AI customer service, allowing municipal services to be carried out as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app has also reduced average processing times: for instance, it took an average of one to two hours for an individual to complete a municipal application offline, but now on the app, it takes less than 20 minutes.

Blockchain technology plays an important role in protecting the privacy of individuals, enterprises and governments throughout the data collection and transmission process. The Blockchain ID (BCID) platform developed by Ping An Smart City uses blockchain technology to generate unique QR codes for payment, transport and tourism services, improving efficiency for citizens, corporates and the government alike. In Shenzhen, citizens can upload up to 50 types of electronic identification documents, including ID cards, residence permits and household registration booklets onto the platform. Following that, users can authorize the usage or authentication of documentation when it is verified and permitted in person. That platform has consolidated over 100 million data sets, benefiting 25 million citizens and 3.5 million businesses in Shenzhen, as personal information of citizens is protected online with encryption while municipal applications are implified and more convenient.

In addition, BCID offers an “ease-of-rent” service, which allows property owners and tenants to easily authenticate each other’s information, including residence permits, certificates of no criminal conviction and property ownership certificates during the rental process. This service enables rental transactions to be carried out online while social distancing measures are in place.

In terms of customer service, AskBob, the smart municipal services Q&A tool developed by Ping An Smart Life, a business unit of Ping An Smart City, has become one of the Group’s key AI technological achievements. Facing different types of inquiries, AskBob’s natural language processing capabilities enable it to analyze all potential scenarios and underlying requests during conversations to provide appropriate responses and solutions. At present, AskBob has created the "chat-as-service" scenario in the "iShenzhen" app. Through voice conversations with the robot, online service agreements can be signed, improving service efficiency and user satisfaction. The AskBob chat service has a high conversation accuracy of 97% and a high consultation efficiency of 80%, based on the significantly shorter time for robot consultations compared to manual consultations.

Ping An Smart City is continuing to work toward one unique QR code for every person, company and city, which will enable citizens and corporates to easily enjoy different aspects of city life, municipal and fintech services. Ping An Smart City has already assisted the Zhuhai Municipal Government to hand out digital coupons during the pandemic, which stimulated local gross merchandise value in excess of RMB540 million. Ping An will also expand to complementary areas such as smart tourism and smart gas stations to improve the quality of life for citizens.

In addition to Shenzhen, Ping An has also built smart city projects in 17 other cities across China including Yancheng, Nantong, Mianyang, Chengdu, and Zaozhuang, Shandong Province, and will apply its experience in Shenzhen to cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau region, Yangtze River Delta, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Chengdu-Chongqing region and the Bohai Rim.

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