Skip to content

What is Behind China’s Social Credit System?

On March 3, Huanqiu re-published an article on China’s Social Credit System that the German Heise Magazine had originally published. The article reported that China has developed a system that uses social credit ratings to distinguish good citizens from bad citizens. Citizens with good credit ratings will receive discounts and have deposits waved; people with poor credit will have a hard time finding a job or receiving a promotion. The article noted that millions of people who do not abide by the rules or who have a record of improper conduct could be added to government’s “black list” where punitive measures apply, such as, for example, not being able to book an airline ticket. The system is currently being tested on millions of citizens in cities along the east coast and Beijing hopes to deploy the system throughout the entire country before 2020. An Epoch Times article stated that the credit rating system has been widely criticized as a government tool used in the surveillance of its citizens rather than a tool to be used in the financial services industry. The article expressed the belief that the system could be used to divide people into different social classes with the lowest class being subject to discriminatory treatment. Examples of bad conduct include those who have a record of traffic violations or who disturb the social order; children who fail to visit parents; and people who criticize the government or post things on social media. All of the above could be added in the credit evaluation system. The article stated that this system could also be used as a scoring system to measure the political viewpoints of an individual to determine how patriotic they are and how much they agree with party’s value system.

1. Huanqiu, March 3, 2018
2. Epoch Times, April  9, 2018