Identifying with an expat's identity crisis

By Ian Morrison ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-05-04 08:01:38

If you are a foreigner working and living in China, how many times have you met the same frustration as me, when you need to register for an online service and you suddenly hit the digital brick wall when it asks you to furnish it with an ID card number.

Obviously, for the vast majority of customers of these services in China this is no problem, as every Chinese citizen is issued with an identity card, which they can carry in their wallet or purse, providing an easy means of identification and a unique number that offers them the ability to prove who they are.

Lacking this "magic number" means that, for foreign residents, something which would otherwise be relatively straightforward - such as purchasing train tickets - is often a much more cumbersome and tiresome process.

Identifying with an expat's identity crisis

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