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ESDlife launches Electronic Service Delivery
moving Hong Kong forward in the digital vanguard
core initiative of the HKSAR Digital 21 IT Strategy

(9 Dec, 2000, Hong Kong) ESDlife (www.esdlife.com), the first and only mega portal that integrates both government and personal services, announces today the official launch of the Internet version of the Electronic Service Delivery Scheme of the Hong Kong SAR Government. ESDlife offers useful public services and enriched personal services together as a one-stop shop concept, moving Hong Kong forward into the digital vanguard. The launch of Electronic Service Delivery Scheme is a milestone in the Government's Digital 21 Information Technology Strategy.

Members of the public can now access ESDlife through any PC to obtain public and personal services any time, anywhere. The first phase of the ESD Scheme offers over 60 types of public services from various government departments and public bodies, including advanced booking services, application of public services, bill payment services, change of personal data recorded in government departments and submission of documents. Users can also enjoy comprehensive, easy-to-access and real-time government information and services at their fingertips.

"Full support and cooperation between different government departments has made the launch a success," said Mr Peter Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Global Crossing. "ESD is the core initiative of the Government Digital 21 IT Strategy, and we are confident that ESDlife will bring a new and better life for all Hong Kong people and cultivate an IT environment which will promote the development of e-commerce in Hong Kong."

ESDlife integrates both current and newly developed government and public services, and is designed to eliminate problems arising from complicated interfaces and applications. Users can search information according to service targets and nature or government department, at the speed of thought. Other functions such as Keywords and the interactive Digital Map also greatly facilitate the search process. As a truly user-friendly portal, ESDlife allows users of all ages to search relevant government information through a single portal easily and conveniently.

Unlike other portals, ESDlife also caters to the needs of special groups in society. The tailor-made text version is designed to enable the visually impaired to read ESDlife web pages and to fill in forms online easily. Aided by clear graphics, symbols and labels, contrasting background colours and fonts, as well as using the characters as the main inputs in filling government application forms, users can handle their personal matters efficiently, conveniently and independently through ESD.

In addition to different public services, the public can also use ESDlife to gain access to the most up-to-date information ranging from leisure, shopping, culture, and entertainment news to medical and education advice. ESDlife is already exploring exciting new strategic partnerships to help enrich the content and services offered by the portal, all aiming at meeting a variety of needs from people of all walks of life, including the general public, business sector and tourists.

Seven ESD Clubs (namely ESDbaby, ESDkids, ESDteens, ESD1822, ESDcouples, ESDprime and ESDseniors) have been designed to serve different communities and people of all ages, and will enable registered members to gain access to the most up-to-date information. ESDlife also offers a number of exclusive benefits to members such as a travel-reward scheme and discounts on accommodation, as well as concerts, movie ticket discounts and other outdoor events, adding even more fun to members' daily lives.

ESDlife offers a number of secure electronic payment methods, including credit card, debit card, VISACash (for kiosks only) and PPS, all of which will allow users to settle government bills and commercial service fees with convenience and flexibility. ESDlife also attaches great importance to the provision of a secure online transaction and personal data transmission system for customers. ESDlife operates two mirrored data centres ensuring reliable and round-the clock operation. With the most advanced SET and SSL Internet transaction technologies in place in addition to the recognised e-Cert issued by Hong Kong Post, ESDlife ensures that data of citizens are fully protected and encrypted while boosting the development of e-commerce in Hong Kong.

From 2001 onwards, about one hundred public kiosks will be installed in high-traffic locations such as MTR and KCR stations, supermarkets, and shopping malls so that everyone can use ESDlife to enjoy the convenience and flexibility of electronic public and personal services.

As the host of ESDlife website, ESD Services Limited, a joint venture between Hutchison Global Crossing Limited and Compaq Computer Limited, operates the "Electronic Service Delivery" Scheme. Having been granted the government tender for the "Electronic Service Delivery" Scheme in November 1999, the Company is dedicated to the development and promotion of ESDlife, the only bilingual portal that integrates both public and personal services in Hong Kong.

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Media Enquiries:
ESD Services Limited
Sally Tsang
Tel:2128 6708
Fax:2187 2055
e-mail:sallyt@hgc.com.hk