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July 13, 2020

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App offers a one-click connection with govt

For some residents of Zhaoxiang Town, Qingpu District, access to government is now just a click away.

A mobile app enabling people to report illegal activities or neighborhood disputes to the government, the first of its kind in Shanghai, has been available to an area of the town with more than 70,000 residents since March. It has met widespread approval.

The app started as a digital option for residents to be allowed into their residential complexes during the novel coronavirus epidemic, but ended up serving the people in more ways.

Sheng Chen, a 29-year-old resident of the Xiujingyuan residential community on Songrun Road, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that he was impressed.

“I reported illegal parking of e-bikes in my building last month through the app and uploaded two pictures,” he said. “The e-bikes were removed just two to three hours after that.”

Through the app’s forum, residents can also raise issues or ask questions of the government and discuss them among themselves.

“Previously, I had to go to the police in person to inquire after issues like renewing my driving license. But now I submit such inquiries through the app and get answers from the authorities within a short time,” Sheng said.

The efficiency in dealing with inquiries and reports from residents was enabled by the forming of a collaborative task force among all town authorities. They get information from the Internet and coordinate to offer solutions.

So far, three in four reports which would traditionally be submitted through calls to the police at 110 or the government at 12345 have been taken from the Internet, police from Songrun Road Police Station said.

Residents can report all kinds of problems such as physical scuffles, scams, thefts or fire danger.

“We introduced the app to address the shortage of government officials vis-à-vis the large number of residents and the daily problems they have, and to break the law enforcement barriers between different authorities,” said Shen Jian, a town official.


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