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Smart city Weifang leverages IT to make life better


Weifang in East China's Shandong province has implemented its Smart City project, aiming to improve residents' living quality and improve city governance and public services through the use of new technologies. 

It was selected as one of four typical cases of smart city construction at the Davos World Economic Forum on Oct 15, 2017 and was praised 10 days later when the Organizing Committee of Barcelona Smart City Expo World Congress announced that China's Weifang won the nomination of 2017 City Award with Smart City 3.0 project, defeating more than 600 global cities. 

Since the idea of "Smart city of Weifang 3.0" was put forward and the "Huawei-Weifang" industry alliance focusing on IoT settled down, the construction of smart Weifang has rapidly took off in 2017.

Based on the NB (narrow band)-IoT technological standard, Weifang is striving to build itself into a smart city where residents don't have to always have their certificates, cards and wallets with them, this is done through the application of mobile internet and real-name authentication technology to make people's lives more convenient.

In 2017, the World Economic Forum launched a brand new project IoT 4D (IoT for sustainable Development), aiming to encourage industries and governments to realize the sustainable development of cities and communities by IoT. Carefully reviewed with more than 640 global cases, the working team of the World Economic Forum and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finally selected four typical cases, among which IOT connected Weifang received the highest score. 

In June, 2016, NB-IoT became the new standard of IoT technology for its wide signal coverage, low power consumption, easy accessibility and low cost. Weifang municipal government cooperated with Huawei to jointly build "Smart city of Weifang 3.0" based on the NB-IoT technology, focusing on fields of urban management, public service and digital economies smart street lamps.

The Smart City of Weifang 3.0 project is not just a platform, it will eventually also be integrated into all aspects of urban management, with a view to building Weifang a new-type smart and innovative city, according to an official at Weifang's smart city construction office. IoT could bring immeasurable influence onto the sustainable economic development. At present, the IoT industry alliance focusing on smart city in Weifang has clustered more than 50 enterprises, which will take three to five years to form an IoT industry with an industry scale of 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion). By then, the IoT industry will become a new growth pole for Weifang's construction of industries.

Weifang government officials promote the "WeiV" mobile phone application among the public, in an effort to make the city smart. [Photo/weifang.gov.cn]

"WeiV" app, a highlight of the quality city 

As a demonstration project of Smart City Expo World Congress (Barcelona), "WeiV" mobile phone application is developed by Weifang, which is a pass card for smart city combined with mobile internet and real-name authentication technology.

"WeiV" app is integrated with numerous IC cards such as ID card, medicare card, bank cards, bus card, entrance guard card, library card and tourist e-card. Residents can pay the expenditures of shopping and transportation, medical bills and daily expenses by using the "WeiV" app. Such tool also enables people to live and travel without cards and wallets, allowing them to enjoy the great convenience brought by technology.

Now, the "WeiV" app has been put into operation in Weifang's municipal-level and county-level government affairs service centers, Sunshine building, municipal-level complex office building, traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, social security network pharmacies, some hotels and super markets. Furthermore,"WeiV" app will also be used in Shandong's first unmanned supermarket. 

Weifang was chosen as one of the first batch of pilot smart cities by Shandong Provincial Government. Different from other smart cities, Weifang insisted on having people-oriented and innovation-driven construction ideas, exploring new modes of smart city by considering residents' needs and concerns to provide more services for people's livelihood. "If the 'Smart City of Weifang 3.0' focuses on improving the real-time, detailed and intelligent level of urban management and public service, then, the 'WeiV' attaches more importance to citizens' sense of acquisition, allowing more residents to experience the convenience brought about by mobile phones," said the official of Weifang's smart city construction office. 

As a new generation of city pass card, the WeiV app will be developed with more functions for urban management and service. "With this pass card, residents or enterprise owners can handle simple affairs at home and office. They can send the QR codes of their IDs to the relevant department for identification and finished the process remotely," said the official, adding that the software can be widely used, which can perfectly replace metro cards adopted in many cities. It is also the reason why Weifang defeated other cities and stood out at the Barcelona Smart City Expo World Congress.

Smart city releases vitality for innovation 

Additionally, WeiV app's identity authentication platform is jointly developed by Weifang public security bureau and TelChina Smart Industry Group Co Ltd. The platform is based on public security household registration information system that can identify the user's QR code of ID with the ID information in reality. The platform is an innovation in the field of network identity authentication, and also was awarded first prize for scientific and technological progress of Public Security Department of Shandong Province in 2017.

In the two recent years, Weifang's smart city construction has developed at a rapid pace. In the future, more innovative enterprises, scientific research institutions and professionals will convene to Weifang to drive its smart city construction.