China sets out four step plan for digital government

All depts online by 2017, and a national site by 2020.

The Chinese Government has embraced digital government, setting out a four-step plan to bring its services online. The plan, Internet Plus, was approved by the State Council and will see the establishment of the first “state services system”, state media announced. "The internet will not only provide people with more accessible public services, but will also help the government improve its administration”, said Premier Li Keqiang. The plan contains four steps for China to improve its online footprint. First, it wants all agencies and government organisations to list the services that can be moved online by 2017. Second, websites will be created that pool digital services from across government to integrate them together, alongside third party platforms. Third, the government will create new laws for “information transparency”. Some provinces in China have already experimented with open data, and with digital citizen feedback mechanisms. Fourth, local government needs to do more with its digital services, including using third party platforms to communicate with citizens. Some regions have yet to use the internet at all, state media noted. “The premier urges governments at all levels to attach great importance to internet-based development and administration,” Xin Hua said. "The government must promptly respond to people's concern, and those who failed to do so fail in their obligations," Li concluded. These plans are limited compared to China’s neighbouring countries, where many are prioritising mobile services and digital transactions. China ranked 63rd in the 2016 UN e-government rankings, with neighbouring South Korea, Japan and Russia ranking much higher.