Unique identification numbers are a powerful tool for disambiguating people or companies that may have the same name.
But many analysts don’t realize that the ID numbers themselves often are encoded with additional valuable personally identifiable information (PII). This is even true in jurisdictions like China that are known for protecting the PII of their citizens.
Breaking Down Resident Identity Cards
Chinese Resident Identity Card (居民身份证) numbers, for example, contain date of birth, place of birth, and gender information. Since 1985, all Chinese citizens above 16 years of age have been required to hold a Resident Identity Card issued by the Ministry of Public Security. Each card is printed with basic identifying information, including a unique 16-digit ID number that can be interpreted as follows:
Understanding Passport Numbers
Similarly, understanding the structure of Chinese passport numbers can help analysts determine whether the passport holder is a government official, diplomat, or member of the public. Chinese passport numbers (护照) are 9 characters long: either a single letter plus eight numerals, or two letters plus seven numerals. Electronic passports include in E in the first two characters.
Service General (S/SE)
Used by the general population for personal travel; the most common form of passport. Good for ten years if issued to a person age sixteen or above.
The public records data that powered this research is available through Sayari Search. If you’re curious how this data could drive insights for your team, or for details on the specific individuals and companies discussed above, please reach out here.