What are some things you would gladly pay more for in China?
I would pay 15,000 rmb to be able to have a number and card that works exactly as a Chinese ID card in every way other than having anything to do with my citizenship.
Any time some app or website only has a spot for 身份证, picking up train tickets at the machines (or swiping at the gate), using alipay outside of China, doing anything with telecom companies, etc. I would pay even more if it was good for life.
When I lived in Japan, they issued you an ID for foreigners.
I liked it because it did just about everything their IDs did and I could leave my passport at home where it belongs.
Most countries with relatively large foreign populations do. The Party just doesn't want life here to be convenient for foreigners.
The Party just doesn't want life here to be convenient for foreigners.
To be fair, they do want it, they're just struggling to achieve it. The new FWP is the first stage in the process (though it's not 100% clear why they had to do it in stages and couldn't make it useful already).
You're talking about a one party state that often boasts about being able to get things done with extreme efficiency and speed (unlike slow, inefficient democratic countries). If the government here really wanted to issue us with ID cards, they could do so easily. Literally all we need is a cheap, plastic card and an ID number. The system for granting work permits is already in place.
The government seems to make announcements every few years that things are going to get simplified/cheaper/quicker/more convenient etc, but all that has happened since I've been here is things have gotten more complicated, time consuming and expensive for everybody involved. The FWP (you mean foreign worker's permit, right?) does absolutely nothing to make life more convenient for people working here.