E-Government in China
Without question, the world is a big place. However, with the constant development of information technology, the world seems to get smaller all the time.
One example is the work of China Expert Technology Inc. (OTC BB:CXTI.OB), a company that builds network infrastructure and provides e-government services for community and municipal governments in China and Hong Kong.
Analysts predict that China’s e-government systems market will reach $6.6 billion this year.
Recently, China Expert was awarded contracts worth $52.2 million to build e-government infrastructure for three cities in Fujian province: Jinjiang, Nanan and Dehua, with the final project to be completed by 2006. In fact, China Expert is the only company that has been awarded such exclusive contracts in China.
These contracts allow the company to create unified e-platforms for each of the three cities.
There are some important implications in the creation of these e-government platforms. First, they enable the government to reduce red tape and become more efficient. Currently, most of the government business in China is done face-to-face or via written communication. This makes it difficult for the average person to get information in a timely manner.
A unified e-platform will allow the public to access, on one site, information for any issues or questions about local government. Users will be able to find information on topics ranging from social security and taxes to water and agriculture. Furthermore, the e-platforms will contain databases that will allow the government to administer data regarding population, geography and economics.
These sites will also lead to more Internet use by the residents of Jinjiang, Nanan and Dehua. A recent study found that currently, only 5.2 percent of government Web sites in China are frequently used. By the end of 2005, an estimated 150 million people in China – 11 percent of the population – will use the Internet. Therefore, both the government and people of China will benefit from these centralized sites.
Finally, because the e-platforms will enable the governments of these three cities to easily exchange information, they give China Expert the potential to do new e-government projects in other cities in the Fujian province.
If such platforms can be built for 150 million users in China, could the same thing be done for cities in the United States? Imagine going to one site for all your information about everything from taxes to environmental concerns. Also, governments around the world could benefit from such technology because it allows more efficient communication from one government to another, which in turn could lead to more profitable trade and other benefits.