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Does E-Governance Matter for the People’s Trust in the Government? Evidences from Shanghai, China

Shouzhi X*

Institute of National Policy and Public Affairs, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City, Taiwan

*Corresponding Author:
Shouzhi X
Institute of National Policy and Public Affairs
National Chung Hsing University
Taichung City, Taiwan
Tel: +886 4 2287 3181
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: October 05, 2016; Accepted Date: December 09, 2016; Published Date: December 15, 2016

Citation: Shouzhi X (2016) Does E-Governance Matter for the People’s Trust in the Government? Evidences from Shanghai, China. J Pol Sci Pub Aff 4: 224. doi: 10.4172/2332-0761.1000224

Copyright: ©2016 Shouzhi X. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

E-governance has become one of the most popular agendas among academia of politics and public management. This study tries to respond whether E-governance has a impact on the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government. Using Tolbert and Mossberger’s framework, the questionnaire’s result of Shanghai city, and quantitative method, this article draw such conclusions as below. First, there are strong relations between E-governance and the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government. On some degree, people who are more satisfied with E-governance, will show more trust in the Chinese government. Second, both of entrepreneurial approach and participatory approach have a impact on the level of people’s trust in the government. The level of satisfied about ‘online discussions’ plays a most important role in people’s attitude towards the Chinese government. In other words, people who can not discuss public affairs and policies freely might show low level of trust in the Chinese government. Third, the Chinese government’s performance about the E-governance is not very good. In the future, the Chinese government should improve their performance about the E-governance, especially the E-participation, which has a significant effect on people’s attitude towards the government.

Keywords

E-governance; E-government; The level of people’s trust in governments; Entrepreneurial approach; Participatory approach

Introduction

How to improve people’s trust in government has become one of the core issues among the world since 1960s. Although discussions about this issue last a long time, academia so far haven’t draw a conclusion [1]. There are two reasons as below. First, trust is a psychology perception, which seems difficult to be measured accurately. Second, there are some essential arguments, such as, whether people’s trust in government has declined in past decades among academia. This circumstance is not good for drawing conclusions. But what we have to acknowledge is that discussing the topic of people’s trust in government is still important.

With the development of ICTs, many governments started to build digital governments and developed E-governance, such as USA, UK. Some scholars, who are the technical optimism, hold the view that government can improve working efficiency and ameliorate people’s attitude towards government through the latest technology. For instance, Tolbert and Mossberger [2] think that E-governance can improve people’s trust in governments by two approaches: One is socalled the entrepreneurial approach, which means that governments could fulfill citizens’ needs, such as handling some businesses, searching for materials and portfolios, through internet. This can be seen as the practice of the core requests and value of New Public Management. Comparing to traditional ways, using governments’ websites or other ICTs approaches to handle things is more convenient and effective. What’s more, with the process of building a open government1, people can get more data and materials from official. And governments also become more transparent. Another one is so-called the participatory approach, which means citizens can take part in public discussions, passing own opinion, and voting, by some online tools. This approach could not only improve people’s trust in governments, but promote the development of democracy. As a result, this approach also be called E-democracy or E-participation [3].

In past decades, Chinese government also tried to improve working efficiency and people’s trust in government, which was playing one of the most important role in country’s modernization process. Chinese economy and society have gained a significantly development, since 1978 when the policy of Reform and Open became the one of the most important country’s strategies. However, some problems, such as corruption, seriously affected government’s working efficient and people’s trust in government. In order to solve these problems, Chinese government formulated plan about administration reform. For instance, the prime minister Li Keqiang proposed building a transparent, responding, and credible government. Thanks for the development of ICTs, Chinese government have many tools to send services and open data though Internet. In spite of conventional online tools, Chinese government also use some latest technology, such as social media, to develop E-governance [4].

In past few years, we focued on the issue of how to use ICTs to build a transparent and credible government. It seems that most of us accept such view that E-governance would significantly affect people’s trust in governments. But some surveys showed the different consequences. Thus, this study is trying to answer the question that whether E-governance has a direct impact on the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government. There are some specific questions: (1) Whether the effect exists in realist? (2) What’s approach (the entrepreneurial approach or the participatory approach) of E-governance can affect people’s trust in Chinese governance? (3) How can Chinese government respond to the result?

Literature Review

What is trust

Answering the question of what is trust is quite difficult. Thomas thought that the more calculating profits means the less trust. In other words, in his view, trust is not something about calculating, but something about emotion and sense. In field of politics, trust is including the trust about government, the trust about government officers, regime and so on.

People’s trust in governments is the legitimacy of governments [5,6]. In A system analysis of political life, Eason thought people’s trust in governments can be divided to two types. The one is ‘general supports’, which means citizens are satisfied with the whole of regimes and governments. Another is ‘specific supports’, which means people possibly support or nonsupport government’s behaviors. The decisive factor lies in the processes and outcomes of public policies. If the processes are transparent and scientific, and outcomes can benefit a lot, citizens will feel satisfied and trust in government. When the opposite happens, people’ trust in government will be affected [6]. If we study other types of trust, the concept seems various.

Because of the various concepts, it’s very difficult to operate this core element. In past decades, different scholars and constitutions had taken different method to operate the concept of trust2.

The reason of trust fall and how to solve it

Comparing to past, people’s trust in governments has declined, which is accepted by most of government officers and scholars. In why people don’t trust in governments, Nye thought the four main elements that contribute to trust fall as below. (1) Efficiency: people don’t trust governments as before, because of the low governments’ working efficiency. (2) Slow economic growth: many evidences show that there are a strong positive correlation between economic growth and the level of people’s trust in governments. (3) Politics: some politics factors, such as level of democracy, transparent, credible, will deeply affect people’s attitude towards governments. (4) Society and Culture: one of the most important elements that affect people’s trust in governments is social capital, which proposed by Putnam.

Some scholars thought there are three ways to improve people’s trust in governments. First, characteristic-based trust: through the same characters of personalities, such as family background, religion and faith, to strength the level of trust. Second, process-based: through repeated exchange, the level of trust can be improved. For instance, if governments can organize some formal or informal forums with citizens or interest groups regularly, the phenomenon of trust falling will be changed [3]. Third, institutional-based: through formal institution, such as laws, governments’ rules, organization principles, the trust fall will be reversed.

E-governance improves people’s trust in governments

At the beginning of E-governance studies, many of scholars focused on the open data and online services. With the development of E-governance studies, some scholars started to pay attention to civil participation and E-democracy [7-10]. Min-Hsiu proposed that E-governance can be divided to two aspects, that is, E-government and E-democracy. E-government concludes infrastructure, service delivery, and public discussions. E-democracy concludes service delivery, public discussion, and decision-making. Sakowicz [11] thought that E-governance is concluded by four aspects, which are E-service, E-management, E-business, and E-democracy. In spite of differences, all of scholar agree to that E-governance is concluding efficient online service and more democratic governments.

Tolbert et al. [2] held the view that could improve people’s trust in governments through two approaches. First, entrepreneurial approach, Governments could use various ICTs technologies to provide information, data, materials, and online service to everyone. The high quality data and online service will not only benefit citizens a lot, but improve people’s trust in governments [12]. Tong-yi et al. [3] divided entrepreneurial approach into two aspects. The one is ‘open data’, which means governments build and open data base through internet. The other is ‘online service’, such as online office. Second, participatory approach, this approach also be called ‘online democracy’, E-participation, or E-democracy, which means citizens can use social media and other ICTs tools, built by governments, to take part in online discussion, and even online voting. Some scholars thought that this approach has more deeper impact on people’s trust in government than entrepreneurial approach, because citizens can participated in public agendas discussion and provide their own opinion to governments more freely and forwardly. Some technical optimists have said that E-governance is big revolution among democracy regimes. Welch said that “… In the process of governments applied ICTs, if official institutions could follow such principles, such as fairness, transparency, interaction, people’s trust in institutions will be improved significantly…”

However, these scholars introduced above hadn’t give enough positive evidences to prove their framework. There are also little works that used positive methodology to measure and test whether E-governance will improve people’s trust in the government. This question is quite important in Chinese realistic context (governments credibility have been affected significantly by serious corruption and comparatively slow economic growth). Overall, this article tries to use survey data to test the framework, which is proposed by Tolbert et al. [2] and enriched by other scholars, and answer whether E-governance will improve people’s trust in the Chinese government.

Methodology

Framework and hypothesis

This article apply quantitative method, and use questionnaire survey to collect research data. And the framework of this research is according to Tolbert and Mossberger’ study. Thus, the dependent variable is E-governance, which can be divided to two aspects, including entrepreneurial approach and participatory approach. And entrepreneurial approach is including ‘open data’ and ‘online service’. The dependent variable is people’s trust in government. With this framework, the article proposes its hypotheses as below (Figure 1):

political-sciences-hypothesis

Figure 1: Framework and hypothesis of this article.

(1) H1: These people who are more satisfied ‘open data’ will show more trust in the Chinese government.

(2) H2: These people who are more satisfied with ‘online service’ will show more trust in the Chinese government.

(3) H3: These people who more satisfied with taking part in ‘online discussion’ will show more trust in Chinese the government.

Questionnaire survey and Sampling

Because of the limit of time and resources, this article can not sampling among the country. This research takes Shanghai as study object and questionnaire in Shanghai city. The reason why choose Shanghai city to collect research data is in view of the level of economic development and the popularity of Internet. Comparing to other areas of China, Shanghai has a higher degree of economic development, modernization, and popularity of Internet. Thus, Shanghai is a typical case.

Specifically, the questionnaire survey was though ‘www.sojump. com’, a Chinese online survey website. Taking Shanghai citizens as a object group, using the method of random selection, this survey released 230 questionnaires totally, at 10 July to 15 July. And 212 questionnaires were recovered. Deleting these invalid questionnaires, I gained 200 questionnaires eventually.

There are two main issues among data collection. First, the total samples of this study seems not enough. This research aims to measure whether E-governance will improve people’s trust in the Chinese government. But the sample of this study is restricted to Shanghai city, even though Shanghai city is a typical case. Second, the distribution and character of samples and parent population might have a gap. These issues may have a influence on the result of the research.

Variables operation

First, the independent variable is dived to two aspects, that are, entrepreneurial approach and participatory approach. Entrepreneurial approach includes two perspectives: ‘open data’ and ‘online service’. And this study uses two questions to operate each perspective. These questions are ‘how often you use the tools of E-governments’ and ‘in what extent are you satisfied with E-governments’. Second, dependent variable is that the level of people’s trust in governments. This variable can be measured by four perspectives, including ‘trust in honest’, ‘trust in functional performance’, ‘trust in democracy and law’, ‘trust in services attitude’. This article uses four points scale to measure each perspective’s conditions. And the sum of four perspectives’ points can be seen as the extent of people’s trust in the government (Table 1).

Type Approach Variable Operating
Independent variable Entrepreneurial Approach Open data ·How often do you use online governments tools (i.e., governments website, official Weibo, official Wechat) to get data or materials?
  1. often b) sometimes c) occasionally d) never
·Generally, in what extent, are you satisfied with online open data? a) very unsatisfied b) unsatisfied c) satisfied d) very satisfied
Online service How often do you use online official services (such as pay the penalty, manage files)? a) often b) sometimes c) occasionally d) never In what extent, are you satisfied with online services? a) very unsatisfied b) unsatisfied c) satisfied d) very satisfied
Participatory Approach Online discussion ·How often do you express opinions about public policies or public affairs, and take part in online discussion by online governments tools? a) often b) sometimes c) occasionally d) never ·In what extent, are you satisfied with governments’ performance (such as respond citizens and solve problems)? a) very unsatisfied b) unsatisfied c) satisfied d) very satisfied
Dependent variable People’s trust in governments ·In what extent, are you trust in the government’s honest? a) very disbelieve b) disbelieve c) believe d) very believe ·In what extent, are you trust in the  government’s functional performance? a) very disbelieve b) disbelieve c) believe d) very believe ·In what extent, are you trust in the government’s democracy and law? a) very disbelieve b) disbelieve c) believe d) very believe ·In what extent, are you trust in the government’s services attitude? a) very disbelieve b) disbelieve c) believe d) very believe

Table 1: Variables operation.

Data Analysis

Data describe

The collected data shows that many of people have ever touched E-governments. Specifically, 15% of respondents often use online governments tools, 21% of them sometimes use online government tools, 54% of them use online government tools occasionally, and there are only 10% of respondents never use such tools. 10.5% of respondents often use online official services, 26% of them sometime use it, 47.5% of them use it occasionally, and there are 16% of respondents have never ever use online official services. Only 6% of respondents express opinion and take part in online discussion through E-governments platform, 15% of them sometimes do it, 46.5% of them do it occasionally, and there are 32.5% of respondents have never ever do it before. It is not difficult to find that ‘open data’ is the most popular function of E-governments that is used by citizens. And ‘online discussion’ is the least common function among E-governments (Table 2).

Variable Type Frequency Percent
Open data Often 30 15.0%
Sometimes 42 21.0%
Occasionally 108 54.0%
Never 20 10.0%
Total 200 100%
Online service Often 21 10.5%
Sometimes 52 26.0%
Occasionally 95 47.5%
Never 32 16.0%
Total 200 100%
Online discussion Often 12 6.0%
Sometimes 30 15.0%
Occasionally 93 46.5%
Never 65 32.5%
Total 200 100%

Table 2: The frequency of using E-governments.

Whether citizens are satisfied with online governments systems is one of the most important core questions. The data shows that: 21% of respondents are very satisfied with ‘open data’, 42% of them are satisfied with it, 21%n of them are unsatisfied with it, and only 16% of respondents are very unsatisfied with it. 16% of respondents are very satisfied with online services, 37.5% of the are satisfied with it, 29.5% of them are unsatisfied with it, and 16.5% of them are very satisfied with it. Only 7.5% of citizens are very satisfied with ‘online discussion’, 24.5% of them are satisfied with it. That means only 32% of respondents are show positive attitudes towards ‘online discussion’, which means up to 68% of citizens are not satisfied with it (Table 3).

Variable Attitude Frequency Percent
‘Open data’ Very satisfied 42 21.0%
Satisfied 84 42.0%
Unsatisfied 42 21.0%
Very unsatisfied 32 16.0%
Total 200 100%
‘Online service’ Very satisfied 33 16.5%
Satisfied 75 37.5%
Unsatisfied 59 29.5%
Very unsatisfied 33 16.5%
Total 200 100%
‘Online discussion’ Very satisfied 15 7.5%
Satisfied 49 24.5%
Unsatisfied 78 39.0%
Very unsatisfied 58 29.0%
Total 200 100%

Table 3: Attitude towards E-governments.

People’s trust in the Chinese government is the core elements of this research. From this data, we can find that: only 2.5% of respondents show their full trust in Chinese government’s honest, 24.5% of them trust in it, 45.5% of respondents disbelieve government’s honest, and 27.5% of them very disbelieve it. 13.5% of respondents very believe government’s function performances, and 39.5% believe it, which means 47% of respondents disbelieve government’s function performances. There are 6.5% of respondents show full trust in government’s democracy and law, and 19.0% of them believe it, which means there are 75.5% of respondents disbelieve it in different level. And there are 14% of respondents fully believe in government’s services attitude, 38% of them believe it, 35 of them disbelieve it, and there are 13% of respondents very disbelieve it. Form the data, we can find that people’s trust in Chinese government seems complex, that is, people’s attitude towards the government are very different in view of different aspects. On the whole, however, people’s trust in the governments are not optimistic (Table 4).

Variable Attitude Frequency Percent
Government’s honest Very believe 5 2.5%
believe 49 24.5%
Disbelieve 91 45.5%
Very disbelieve 55 27.5%
Total 200 100%
Government’s function performances Very believe 26 13.0%
believe 79 39.5%
Disbelieve 79 39.5%
Very disbelieve 16 8.0%
Total 200 100%
Government’s democracy and law Very believe 13 6.5%
believe 38 19.0%
Disbelieve 109 54.5%
Very disbelieve 40 20.0%
Total 200 100%
Government’s services attitude Very believe 28 14.0%
believe 76 38.0%
Disbelieve 70 35.0%
Very disbelieve 26 13.0%
Total 200 100%

Table 4: Peopleâs attitude towards the government.

The level of satisfied about E-governance and people’s trust in the government

Now, we will study whether the level of satisfied about E-governance has a relevance towards people’s trust in the government. First, through ANOVA test, we can judge if the different level of satisfied about ‘open data’ has significant different about people’s attitude towards the government. The specific data can be seen below (Table 5).

Trust I J I-J Std. error SIG
People’s trust in governments Very satisfied Satisfied 0.357 0.436 0.960
Unsatisfied 1.381* 0.478 0.029
Very unsatisfied 1.820* 0.609 0.025
Satisfied Very satisfied -0.357 0.436 0.960
Unsatisfied 1.024 0.440 0.126
Very unsatisfied 1.463 0.580 0.086
Unsatisfied Very satisfied -1.381* 0.478 0.029
Satisfied -1.024 .440 0.126
Very unsatisfied 0.439 .612 0.979
Very unsatisfied Very satisfied -10.820* 0.609 0.025
Satisfied -1.463 0.580 0.086
Unsatisfied -0.439 0.612 0.979

Table 5: The level of satisfied about âopen dataâ and peopleâs trust in governments.

Second, through ANOVA test, we can judge if the different level of satisfied about ‘online services’ has significant different about people’s attitude towards the government. The specific data can be seen below (Table 6).

Trust I J I-J Std. error SIG
People’s trust in governments Very satisfied Satisfied 0.850 0.449 0.244
Unsatisfied 2.461* 0.485 0.000
Very unsatisfied 4.121* 0.543 0.000
Satisfied Very satisfied -0.850 0.447 0.244
Unsatisfied 1.612* 0.374 0.000
Very unsatisfied 3.272* 0.449 0.000
Unsatisfied Very satisfied -2.461* 0.485 0.000
Satisfied -1.612* 0.374 0.000
Very unsatisfied 1.660* 0.482 0.005
Very unsatisfied Very satisfied -4.121* 0.543 0.000
Satisfied -3.272* 0.447 0.000
Unsatisfied -1.660* 0.482 0.005

Table 6: The level of satisfied about âonline servicesâ and peopleâs trust in governments.

Third, through ANOVA test, we can judge if the different level of satisfied about ‘online discussions’ has significant different about people’s attitude towards the government. The specific data can be seen below (Table 7).

Trust I J I-J Std. error SIG
People’s trust in governments Very satisfied Satisfied 1.143 0.583 0.233
Unsatisfied 2.705* 0.561 0.001
Very unsatisfied 4.897* 0.587 0.000
Satisfied Very satisfied -1.143 0.583 0.233
Unsatisfied 1.562* 0.348 0.000
Very unsatisfied 3.754* 0.389 0.000
Unsatisfied Very satisfied -2.705* 0.561 0.001
Satisfied -1.562* 0.348 0.000
Very unsatisfied 2.191* 0.355 0.000
Very unsatisfied Very satisfied -4.897* 0.587 0.000
Satisfied -3.754* 0.389 0.000
Unsatisfied -2.191* 0.355 0.000

Table 7: The level of satisfied about âonline discussionâ and peopleâs trust in governments.

From these tables above, it is not difficult to find that the level of satisfied about E-governments has a strong relevance towards people’s trust in the government. As far as ‘open data’ concerned, the figure of sig is no low than 0.05, thus we cannot draw a conclusion that different level of satisfied about ‘open data’ has a significant different about people’s trust in the government, although the ‘mean difference’(I-J) about very satisfied and unsatisfied, as well as very unsatisfied are significant. As far as ‘online service’ concerned, it is obvious that the attitude of these people, who are satisfied with ‘online service’ are significantly different with these people who unsatisfied with ‘online service’. And a higher level of satisfied about ‘online service’ means a higher level of trust in the Chinese government. The condition of the relation between the level of satisfied about ‘online discussion’ and the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government is same as the situation of ‘online service’. From the Table 5, we can see that a lower level of satisfied about ‘online discussion’ means a lower level of people’s trust in the government. Overall, it seems that people’s attitude towards E-governance might have a significant impact on people’s trust in the Chinese government.

Regression analysis

Form the below chart, it is not difficult to find that these independent variables, including ‘open data’, ‘online service’, and ‘online discussion’, have a impact on people’s trust in the Chinese government. Because, when we add them to analysis model, the adjusted R2 has changed significantly, which can be seen from model I to model IV. And it is obvious that the impact of level of satisfied about E-government to people’s trust in the Chinese government is quite positive, which means the higher satisfied about E-governance will lead to the higher level of people’s trust in the government.

From the figure of Bate and Significant, we can draw a conclusion that the most important factor is ‘online discussion’; the less important factor is ‘open data’. In a statistical sense, when the level of people’s satisfied about ‘online discussion’ is up 1 unit, then the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government will be up 0.475 unit. And when the level of people’s satisfied about ‘online service’ is up 1 unit, in a statistical sense, then the level of people’s trust in the government will up 0.180 unit. In addition, ‘online data’ seems not having a high impact on people’s trust in the government. This phenomenon might be caused by two reasons. First, the Chinese government has done a good job in ‘open data’. For example, with the development of big data, Chinese government actively promotes the construction of data opening. The Chinese government also published the Action plan for promoting the development of large data, deciding to build a unified national government data open platform before the end of 2018. But the Chinese government’s performance on ‘online service’ and ‘online discussion’ is little poor. Second, the importance and the difficult degree of ‘online service’, especially ‘online discussion’ overweight ‘open data’. Overall, these factors tells us how important the E-governance, especially the aspects of ‘online discussion’ and ‘online service’ it is.

What’ more, from this data, it also can be seen that citizens’ sex, age, and net-usage years, in some extent, have a impact on people’s attitude towards the government. And the facts seem that females have a more positive attitude towards the government; elderly people have a worse negative attitude towards the government; and these people who use Internet longer seems having a worse negative evaluation about the Chinese government (Table 8).

Independent variable Model I Model II Model III Model IV
 B  SE VIF  B  SE VIF  B  SE VIF  B  SE VIF
‘open data’       0.240*** 0.175 1.011 0.049 0.169 1.201 0.016 0.155 1.210
‘online service’             0.492*** 0.177 1.249 0.180* 0.211 2.109
‘online discussion’                   0.475*** 0.214 1.982
Sex -0.087 0.355 1.008 -0.077 0.345 1.010 -0.079 0.306 1.010 -0.093+ 0.280 1.011
Age -0.171* 0.199 1.025 -0.148* 0.194 1.034 -0.064 0.175 1.070 -0.048 0.160 1.072
Net-usage years -0.126+ 0.312 1.024 -0.129+ 0.304 1.024 -0.099 0.269 1.029 -0.072 0.248 1.036
  Adj.R2:0.045 N:200 P<0.007 Adj.R2:0.098 N:200 P<0.000 Adj.R2:0.292 N:200 P<0.000 Adj.R:0.406 N:200 P<0.000

Table 8: The result of regression analysis.

Discussion

This article finds that the level of people’s satisfied about E-governance has a significant influence on the level of people’s trust in the government, which is same with other scholars’ studies [2,13]. But there are also some specific results found by this study [14-16].

First, the most important element that has a impact on people’s attitude towards the government is ‘online discussions’, which means a higher satisfied about ‘online discussions’ will directly lead to a higher level of people’s trust in the government. But what has be found from the questionnaires shows that most of respondents are not satisfied with the Chinese government’s performance [17]. The figure shows that only 7.5% of citizens feel very satisfied about the ‘online discussion’ and 24.5% of them are satisfied with it. That means up to 68% of citizens are unsatisfied with the Chinese government’s performance of ‘online discussion’. This phenomenon might be caused by two reasons. 1. There are not enough platforms that allow citizens to take part in public discussion or pass opinion about public policies and affairs. 2. The Chinese government has not shown enough concentration and emphasis towards ‘online discussion’ [18-20]. Nowadays, with the development of Internet technologies, the Chinese government has more rich and advanced means to promote ‘online discussion’, such as official Weibo, and official Wechat. But, the government only use these tools as the tool of releasing information and data. The government has not really responded citizens’ opinion or built these tools as Habermas’s public sphere, where citizens can take part in public discussions and pass their opinion about the government’s performances and other public agendas.

Second, comparing to ‘open data’, ‘online services’ seems having a deeper impact on people’s attitude towards the government. Some reasons about the low level impact of ‘open data’ has been mentioned above, now, I will discuss the reason why ‘online service’ seems more important. With the development of ICTs, people’s daily life has been changed a lot [21]. The reliance of smart phones, or internet, is the typical one. Thus, citizens want to handle more businesses though internet, instead of going though in persons. So if the government can provide better ‘online services’, the level of people’s trust in government will be improved. But, from this questionnaire, it is not difficult to find that the level of people’s satisfied about ‘online services’ is not very high, which should be valued by the Chinese government [22,23].

Conclusion

From this study, we can respond the research questions. First, there is a strong relation between E-governance and the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government. And what should be emphasized here is that E-governance has a positive impact on, in some extent, people’s attitude towards the government. But, the Chinese government should clearly recognized, according to this research, that the total level of people’s satisfied about E-government, including two approaches, is not very high.

Second, both of entrepreneurial approach and participatory approach have an impact on the level of people’s trust in the government. But, the aspect of ‘open data’ has no significant impact on people’s attitude. It might because that more and more people see ‘open data’ as governments’ a basic responsibility, which means people’s attitude towards the government will not be changed significantly, even though the Chinese government do a good job about ‘open data’. But in another situation that the Chinese government has a bad performance among ‘open data’, such as hiding data and materials, will lead to the decline of people’s trust in government. ‘online services’ plays an important role in the level of people’s attitude towards the government. Thanks for the development of ICTs, the Chinese government has a lot of new tools to improve the quality of ‘online services’. And, if these people who are satisfied with the government’s ‘online services’ will show more trust in the government. But, what should be point out is that, the level of people’s satisfied about ‘online services’ is not very high. In addition, the level of satisfied about ‘online discussions’ plays a most important role in people’s attitude towards the Chinese government. That means people’s value participatory approach better than entrepreneurial approach. And, citizens do not want to take E-governments only as a tool of information and data released. They prefer use E-governance as the approach that lead them to public policies and public discussions more smoothly. And they want the Chinese government’s responses.

Third, the Chinese government’s performance about E-governance is not very good, although E-government has a positive impact on people’s attitude towards the government. In the future, the Chinese government should improve their performance about E-governance though these two ways. 1. The government should use valuable ICTs tools, improving the quality of ‘online services’. From the questionnaire’s result, it is not difficult to find that many of Shanghai citizens are unsatisfied with the ‘online services’ today. 2. Let citizens take part in public discussions and respond them timely are very important. E-participation, or E-democracy, is the core element of E-governance. But, the Chinese government today not shows enough attention to it. E-governments is a good way to improve the level of people’s trust in the Chinese government. But, the Chinese government needs to do better.

1Proposing by the government of Obama in 2012. The main aims of the plan of open government are opening data and materials to every citizens, and let them take part in public affairs.

2i.e., Welch has proposed some questions to measure people’s trust in American
government. There are these questions. a). How much of the time do you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right-just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time, for none of them; b). Would you say the government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves or that it is run for the benefit of all the people?; c). Do you think that people in the government waste a lot of money we pay in taxes, waste some of it, or don’t waste very much of it? d). Do you think that quite a few of the people running the government are crooked, not very many are, or hardly any of them are crooked?

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