IBM makes life all sunshine for Chinese citizens -

IBM’s System z mainframe will be used to build a cloud based information system aimed at "improving the lives" of 300 million Chinese citizens.

The systems will run Linux and host social services online.  The project is part of an initiative to meet the Chinese government’s five year plan focusing on developing programs to "improve citizen’s overall well-being”.  Perhaps Clegg and Cameron could learn a thing or two from the benevolent Chinese overlords. China's certainly learning lessons from us in its CCTV networks.

The cloud system being put into place with Yi Lian Zhong Information Technology will seek to help connect up the country’s rural and urban populations.  Users will then have immediate access to government departments, social service providers, medical institutions, corporate and public organisations, and vocational schools.

The large scale system will be installed at civic centres, hospitals, banks and shopping centres, and would put the UK’s bungling government IT systems to shame if it reaches its targets.  

Information for all 300 million users in eight provinces will be integrated by IBM to give both rural and urban users an identical service. What could go wrong - it's not like IBM has stuffed up its systems before.

It is hoped that the system will increase the efficiency of government departments massively when up and running.

Access to information would be provided through the use of ID cards which then allow users to perform functions such as paying social insurance contributions or receiving unemployment benefits, also known as a very efficient way to see what your citizens are up to.

IBM is, according to IDC stats, joint top of server revenues with $4.0 billion, accounting for 30.5 percent market share. 

Cisco has recently come into the firing line over its links to the Chinese authorities, with a human rights group claiming that it tailored its software to enable tracking citizens.

Others too have faced condemnation for allegedly providing technology to authoritarian regimes, with Amesys said to have supplied spying equipment to Libya, and Microsoft lending its expertise to the Tunisian government.