Hong Kong - The Immigration Department of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Thursday that Hong Kong has started replacing identity cards with smart ID cards in phases.

The Immigration Department has installed a new version of the automated immigration clearance system, known as new e-channels, at Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and Hong Kong Port of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to help Hong Kong residents holding new ID cards to pass through turnstiles.

The transition period to new ID cards will be in the next four years. Holders of existing ID cards will be invited to nine Smart Identity Card Replacement Centers, in accordance with their year of birth, to have their cards replaced in phases. The first public round of replacement will begin on Jan. 21 next year for Hong Kong residents born in 1985 and 1986.

According to the Immigration Department, more than 100 e-channels have been installed at West Kowloon Station and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Equipped with new non-touch sensors, those e-channels cut the average speed of passage from 12 seconds per person down to eight


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