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Beijing upgrades website to ease foreigners' lives

By Chen Bowen | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-01 08:51


An updated version of a website that provides services for foreigners in Beijing has been unveiled amid efforts by the capital to help them work, study, live and travel in the city.

The upgraded version of the International Web Portal of Beijing focuses on enhancing the website to make it a hub for international exchanges in Beijing, offering information, public services and consultation and communication channels.

Available since Thursday, the website can be viewed in nine languages: English, Korean, Japanese, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese.

Beijing is committed to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for foreigners, Xia Linmao, the capital's executive vice-mayor, told a news conference late last month.

Under the theme "Highlighting Beijing's charm, vitality and opportunities while seamlessly integrating Beijing's services", the website offers a variety of convenient urban services related to payments, transportation, education, lifestyle issues and tourism for foreigners.

It is designed for scenario-based integrated services, enabling users to benefit from more digital services with their passport information, according to the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Beijing Municipal Committee.

Based on thematic areas such as investing, working, living, studying, traveling and consuming, the website features two series of instructive videos entitled "How Beijing" and "Service Guide for Foreigners in Beijing", providing more than 300 guidelines and online reservation channels for over 50 services, including accommodation registration and visa application.

The "Events Calendar" section of the website offers firsthand information about the city's exhibitions, performances, sports events, consumption options, tourist activities and more.

Another section, "My Story in Beijing", shares foreigners' tales of entrepreneurship and personal experiences working, living, studying and traveling in the city.

The website also includes a multifunctional "Policy Toolkit" to discuss policies that are of general concern to foreign-funded enterprises such as investment access, financial support, industrial support and tax preferences.

Alexandre Guery, who has lived in Beijing for two years, said he really likes the upgraded version of the website.

"Several years ago, before I departed from Paris, networking with the local community was difficult, especially since I was not fluent in Chinese," he said. "But now, with the novel website and its WeChat account, it easily connects foreigners with more opportunities with the local government and enterprises."

Beijing is also ramping up the construction of international schools and hospitals, and optimizing services for expatriates such as medical insurance settlements and commercial insurance.

"In the future, we'll make greater efforts to solve issues that foreigners are concerned about, such as payment methods, including improving the convenience of cash, overseas bank cards and electronic payments," Xia said.

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