By the end of 2013, 540 million Chinese people, or roughly 40 percent of China's population, had social security cards, which are issued to facilitate medical and other social security services, new data showed on Tuesday.
Hu Xiaoyi, vice minister of human resources and social security, revealed the data at a seminar on Tuesday, adding that the number is expected to reach 650 million by the end of 2014.
The country aims to issue 800 million social security cards by the end of 2015, covering about 60 percent of its total population, according to China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).
At present, social security cards are mainly used to pay for medical expenses. In the future, services will be expanded to allow card holders to draw pensions and pay for social insurance programs, Hu said.