Qingdao vehicle management goes online

Updated: 2013-05-31 07:12

By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao, Shandong and Jin Haixing in Beijing (China Daily)

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People who want to renew their driver's license can now do so with just a few clicks, after a government department moved part of its operations online.

The online shop on Taobao.com, a major shopping website in China, was opened by the vehicle management department of the Qingdao Traffic Management Bureau on Monday.

Internet users can apply for replacements of their driving licenses for a variety of vehicles, as well as handle other transport-related affairs on the site.

Customers are charged for the cost and delivery fee of the driving license or number plate, according to the website.

Chen Lei, a spokesman for the vehicle management department, said on Thursday that the launch of the online shop was inspired by the success of the department's micro blog.

Qingdao Cheguan, the department's micro blog on Sina Weibo, opened in 2011. It had nearly 84,000 followers as of Thursday.

Those micro bloggers, who are mostly younger people, are potentially more interested in online shopping, which made the department's online project possible, Chen said.

Micro blogging website Sina Weibo and Alibaba, the parent company of Taobao.com, allow user accounts to share information on both platforms.

Chen added the vehicle management department will provide more online services in the future should there be more demand for them.

The online shop received 16 service requests by Thursday, and had completed one - receiving a five-star rating from a customer happy with the replacement of his driver's license.

Taobao's rating system allows customers to rate goods or services they received by giving them a score of one to five, five being the highest.

Zhai Chunyang, a commentator working at Hangzhou TV Station in Zhejiang province, said Taobao's success lies in its rating system, which gives consumers the opportunity to rank their favorite shops.

The online shop of Qingdao's vehicle management authority is a good experiment as the relationship between the government and taxpayers was just like the one between consumers and online shops, allowing users to rank the department's performance, Zhai said.

"It is a pity that only some government services have been put online. There should be more," he said.

However, to improve the government's working style, it is more important to set up an effective system rather than just using a new platform or technology, Zhai said.

Contact the writers at xiechuanjiao@chinadaily.com.cn and jinhaixing@chinadaily.com.cn

(China DailyUSA 05/31/2013 page4)