Is the implementation of Web3.0 really the solution for China’s digital governance?

Living Online” by Kyra Rehn ♡ is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

In the digital governance, national digitalization has become a key topic that cannot be ignored. Digital governance is not just limited to governments and organizations, but the main goal of government support for digitalization is to optimise the whole society. Total digitalization means that everyone can get more opportunities to improve the quality and convenience of life through the digital technology. Face recognition and dynamic monitoring in digital governance play a positive role in economic mobility, people control and convenience. Through face recognition, the government can efficiently detect illegal behaviors, while it also applied to life service scenarios such as self-service ATMs. Palmprint payment in dynamic monitoring provides a more convenient payment method and more paths for digital payment. Overall, face recognition and dynamic surveillance play a positive role in digital governance. These technologies need to be used wisely, otherwise privacy concerns can lead to counterproductive social prosperity.

Privacy issues are becoming more critical with the national digitalization (Goggin et al., 2017). Dynamic monitoring mostly utilized in business software and social media, which enhances the convenience of life (Nolin & Olson, 2016). However, due to the Covid-19, the privacy issues resulting from dynamic monitoring gained the masses’ attention. Questions like data misuse, privacy invasion, and information leakage are brought about by digitization (Flew, 2021, pp. 67-70; Goggin et al., 2017). For example, China has developed a dynamic monitoring application for itinerary codes, which serves as a tool for monitoring an individual’s health status and travel trajectory (Nakamoto et al., 2020; Cheng et al., 2023). The use of trip codes as a measure for outbreak prevention is controversial, with the public believing that the emergence of trip codes has made privacy and security more vulnerable to breaches (Nakamoto et al., 2020). Also, China’s central bank issued a letter agreeing to change Alipay into no individual owner. This makes Alipay, China’s premier third-party payment become government controlled (Statista; Non-Bank Payment Institutions Significant Matters Change License Information Publication). The Chinese government worries that there will be greater risk if the previous owner, Jack Ma, has too much power, and no individual should have such close to unlimited power (Flew, 2021, pp. 65-66).

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Therefore, digital privacy has become an important topic in China. With the acceleration of digitalization, protecting digital privacy and data security has become a new and serious challenge in digital governance in China. Scholars are actively analyzing this topic from an academic perspective, trying to find methods to protect the personal privacy (Acquisti et al., 2007). At the same time, the digital divide and privacy become noteworthy issues. Digital divide is the unequal access to information and resources between different areas and groups due to the uneven development in the process of digitalization (Ragnedda & Muschert, 2013). China is a developing country, and there exists an imbalance of development and different levels of aging in areas (Han et al., 2020). Thus, addressing the digital divide has become a key issue in China’s digitization process.


In the digital governance, digitalization for all has become a key topic that cannot be ignored. Digital governance is not just limited to governments and organizations, but the main goal of government support for digitalization is to optimise the whole society in the digitalization process through digital governance. Total digitalization means that everyone in society can get more opportunities to improve the quality and convenience of life through the application of digital technology. Face recognition and dynamic monitoring in digital governance  play a positive role in economic mobility, people control and convenience. Through face recognition technology, the government can detect and more efficiently deal with illegal behaviors, while, face recognition is also applied to life service scenarios such as intelligent access control systems self-service ATMs. Palmprint payment in dynamic monitoring technology provides a more convenient payment method, and more paths for digital payment. Overall, face recognition and dynamic surveillance play a positive role in digital governance. However, these technologies need to be wisely used, otherwise privacy concerns can lead to counterproductive goals achievement.

Belajar web” by Aprianimagfira is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
  • “The emergence of Web 3.0 marks a historic turning point.” (Yang & Li, 2023). Data security and privacy protection are popping up as rising issues, and the rise of technologies such as blockchain and decentralized storage has brought new possibilities for the Internet development.
  • Chohan (2022) has also discussed the concept of Web 3.0 and its possibilities in the development of future internet, and Chohan identified web 3.0 as the future architecture of the Internet, which will have a profound impact on the whole internet.
  • By analysis the examples of collapse of FTX and Alameda Research, Huang (2023) discusses the security and privacy issues linked with Web3.0, including blockchain, crypto-wallets, smart contracts, and token economies. Huang focused on the importance of secure digital environments and applications, and how to effectively and systematically solve those issues.
  • E-commerce business models are facing significant changes. According to Almeida, Santos, and Monteiro (2014), web 3.0 related technologies have impacted e-commerce models, and new models based on Web3.0 are posing competitive pressure, the authors’ analysis of the advantages and limitations of decentralized e-commerce models provides important insights into e-commerce business models.
  • Zheng et al. (2017) discussed the importance of consensus mechanisms including Proof of work and stake, looked forward to the blockchain’s future development trend, and concluded that blockchain has a broad prospect in multiple industries.

Web3.0 is an international controversial topic, China has a huge Internet user group and digital economy, it is crucial to have an in-depth understanding of the impact of Web3.0 on the development of many aspects, to enhance the acceptance of Web3.0, to promote the improvement and progress of China’s digital governance, and to solve the existing problems, a deep study is necessary. Therefore, a deep analysis of the matter is required to determine whether the application of web 3.0 in China has successfully addressed the shortcomings in the country’s digital governance.

Exploring the Role of Blockchain in Web 3.0

Web 3.0 is a combination of blockchain and cryptography. The main use of Web 3.0 in China at the moment is still focused on the government, and by far the most exposed content for the population is blockchain. Blockchain is a distributed database technology used to record and validate transactions and secure data exchange across a network (Meunier, 2018). Given that blockchain is one of the key components of web 3.0, we will focus on analyzing the impact of blockchain in the civilian sector to infer the future of web 3.0.

Blockchain – Technology that brings safety and reliability” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The effectiveness of blockchain

As the economy and society accelerate the transformation and upgrading to digitalization, the Internet of Things application empowerment can be seen everywhere, and the scene of the interconnection of everything is becoming clearer. Modern technology is now a crucial tool for encouraging traditional industries to change and modernize as well as for fostering outstanding economic growth. Now, the Internet of Things has been widely used in industrial manufacturing, transportation, health care, intelligent logistics and other fields (Kumar et al., 2019).  Blockchain works by linking social life information and personal devices or Internet Protocol for peer-to-peer data exchange. The specific role of blockchain in smart healthcare is make a link between hospitals and patients, social life information and personal devices can achieve data exchange. Patients can obtain their electronic reports quicklier by filling in their identifying information, thus providing a more secure new method for medical data (SooHoo et al., 2023; Omar et al., 2021). 

Problems such as privacy leakage become more frequent, people seek for secure and reliable ways of data exchange and storage without the third-party demand, and Web3.0 is one of the ways to meet this demand (Tan, Chi, & Lam, 2022). Web3.0 mainly emphasizes on the sovereignty of the individual over the data, the users have absolute control over their own “blocks”. The access mechanism of Web3.0 is absolutely decentralized, and users do not need third parties to manage their informations (Mendis et al., 2021; Zyskind, Nathan, & Pentland, 2015). In information exchange, the interaction process is visible only to both parties, and this decentralized mechanism makes data exchange more secure and reduces the risk of data exposure, so supporting web 3.0 development can enhance digital protection. 

Blockchain has been effective in increasing data privacy, and the digital divide has been diminished. Smart contracts are automated contracts based on blockchain, which are programmed with code to execute, validate, or enforce the terms and conditions of a contract (Alharby & van Moorsel, 2017; Khan et al., 2021). In the technological context of smart contracts, users can conduct financial transactions or sign various contracts without intermediaries, which helps to reduce transaction costs and shorten transaction time, and enhances the security and transparency of transactions (Ahmadisheykhsarmast & Sonmez, 2020). In addition, blockchain technology also improves the accessibility of personal devices for digital assets and financial services between them. In China, many people cannot access traditional financial services due to a lack of credit history and a stable source of income (Peng, Zhao, & Wang, 2014; Fungáčová & Weill, 2015). With blockchain, individuals can participate in the financial market without the intermediation of traditional institutions, this allows more participations in financial markets, and by lowering the barriers to participation in financial markets the digital divide mitigated (Doerr, Frost, Gambacorta, & Qiu, 2022; Wang, Lin, & Luo, 2019). Therefore, this openness and decentralization feature of blockchain technology brings more choices and broader career development space for individual users in the financial industry, and effectively reduces the digital divide.

Invalidity of blockchain

Although Web 3.0 has shown potential, it still has many shortcomings when it comes to privacy protection and digital divide issues. In terms of privacy, the way blockchain operates makes it difficult to avoid complete security for privacy issues. According to the effects of blockchain, users have absolute control over their accounts, but all transaction information is open. In other words, even though personal IP is usually hidden in the blockchain, there is a possibility of tracing back informations once other blocks are involved in the execution. On an operational level, when looking for an account, find the account that transacted with this block and trace it backward (Biryukov, Khovratovich, & Pustogarov, 2014; Reynolds & Irwin, 2017). The purpose of protecting privacy is difficult to perform in this case.

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Similarly, blockchain reinforces the digital divide, blockchain does little to improve the digital divide when focusing on the aging population. Although the application of blockchain can, to a certain extent, help eliminate the digital divide, blockchain can play a limited role in addressing China’s problem of population aging. (He, Li, & Wang, 2022; Friemel, 2016). The issue of the digital divide at the intersection of national digitalization and aging population is becoming increasingly problematic. In the financial sector, the increasing reliance on digital and smart technologies, such as e-banking smart investments, requires users to have a certain level of digital competence, which is generally lacking in aging groups (Choudrie, Pheeraphuttranghkoon, & Davari, 2020). Particularly in the banking industry, the deep integration of blockchain and financials can result in a convenient financial platform; however, because these innovations requires operational implementation, they worsen the issue of the digital divide that the elderly population faces. Overall, there are still issues such as the digital divide and privacy concerns with Web 3.0 that need to be resolved.


Finally, the application of web 3.0 plays significant implications for China’s digital governance. Web 3.0 becomes an inevitable trend for future development. The current goal of digital governance in China is to improve people’s lives by achieving comprehensive digitalization. The shortcomings brought by Web3.0 still need further overcome. Although Web 3.0 brings many advantages in terms of improving data privacy and reducing the digital divide, we need to be aware of its limitations in both privacy issue and digital divide. By examining the current state of Web 3.0, people can better understand where China’s digitization process is headed. For the ever-changing digital landscape, it is incomplete to analysis the shift from Web2.0 to Web3.0. In order to comprehensively analyze the provocations of digitization in China, it is important to take into account more factors, such as China’s digital censorship and the wealth gap, which are influencing factors that may have a profound impact on the digitization process. Only by taking these aspects into account, we can predict the future direction of digitization in China accurately and measures to ensure that digitization is inclusive, accessible, and sustainable.

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“Belajar web” by Aprianimagfira is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

“Blockchain – Technology that brings safety and reliability” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

“Facebook: The privacy saga continues” by opensourceway is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

“i love old people” by joeannenah is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

“Living Online” by Kyra Rehn ♡ is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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