How China’s Social Credit Score Will Shape the “Perfect” Citizen

Via The Daily Bell

If you have too much debt and bad credit, it may be tough to get credit cards and loans. The idea is that people less likely to pay pack lenders get less credit.

Well imagine if there was a social credit system. But it was the government that used it to decide who could travel, or live in certain apartments. Imagine if your social credit was too low to send your kids to a private school, or get a better job.

But what kind of behavior would warrant such a score? 

China is about to answer all our questions.

The country has a pilot program for a social credit system. The government will rate citizens based on how loyal they are to the state. Already almost 10 million Chinese citizens have been blacklisted.

The Chinese government has ultimate control over their citizens’ lives because almost everything requires the national ID card. And the number assigned to citizens can simply be restricted for whatever the government wants to take away.

The Chinese media refers to those on the list as deadbeats.

Chinese citizens will be rated on their real life and online behavior for things like patriotism, hard work, and avoiding materialism. The system will aggregate all available data, taking into account what books citizens read, what they buy, and how long they spend playing video games.

Bad social credit would eliminate the possibility of starting a business, staying in luxury hotels, and buying or renting property.

Not only will big data be used to rate the citizens, China will also rely on peer ratings. It is the ultimate social governance; making citizens police their neighbors.

By 2020, adults will all have an assigned social credit score in addition to their identity card.


China’s President Xi has consolidated his power and solidified it by recently abolishing term limits for the office. He has stacked the main legislative council with his supporters. It is a one-party communist state which looks increasingly like the dystopian world in 1984.

Monitoring online activity is a huge focus for China, which blocks certain social media websites, and has jailed government critics. Of course, this surveillance all started in the name of thwarting criminals and terrorists.

Algorithms will track citizens online to decide if they are worthy of social credit.

Online behaviour will inevitably be a big part of what is monitored, and algorithms will be key to everything, though there remain doubts about whether something so ambitious will ever come to full fruition. One of the scheme’s basic aims is to use a vast amount of data to create individual ratings, which will decide people’s access – or lack of it – to everything from travel to jobs.

The Chinese notion of credit – or xinyong – has a cultural meaning that relates to moral ideas of honesty and trust. There are up to 30 local social credit pilots run by local authorities, in huge cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou and much smaller towns. Meanwhile, eight ostensibly private companies have been trialling a different set of rating systems, which seem to chime with the government’s controlling objectives…

Using a secret algorithm, Sesame credit constantly scores people from 350 to 950, and its ratings are based on factors including considerations of “interpersonal relationships” and consumer habits. Bluntly put, being friends with low-rated people is bad news. Buying video games, for example, gets you marked down. Participation is voluntary but easily secured, thanks to an array of enticements. High scores unlock privileges such as being able to rent a car without a deposit, and fast-tracked European visa applications. There are also more romantic benefits: the online dating service Baihe gives people with good scoresprominence on its platforms.

In China, the government will ultimately control the system. That way they can shape the type of citizens they want. They will reward those loyal to the state, and punish those who cause the state trouble or fail to contribute enough to the national cause.

But that the west is not immune from a similar system.

Three years ago Facebook patented a system of credit rating that would consider the financial histories of people’s friends. Opaque innovations known as e-scoresare used by increasing numbers of companies to target their marketing, while such outfits as the already infamous Cambridge Analytica trawl people’s online activities so as to precisely target political messaging.

Mark Zuckerberg quite admires China in fact. He has tried to cozy up to the regime in hopes of opening up the Facebook market to another fifth of the world’s population.

When the government controls most aspects of life, it becomes very dangerous to go against them. The government will control who will be acceptable socially–and economically–and who will be ostracized.

Eventually, everyone will mimic the behavior the government rewards. They will create a new citizen.

Even scarier is the fact that citizens will have the ability to rate other citizens. This means you better not get on somebody’s bad side. Anything that deviates from the norm, any unique quirk, or unpopular opinion can now have a serious negative effect on all aspects of life in China.

You better join a local club, salute the flag, and remember to share with your neighbors, comrade.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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DownWithYogaPants Tue, 03/06/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

A snippet of history: Winston Churchill said the Germans would never rule the world because "The Germans would never walk on the grass".  ( See David Irving )

From that I take that the upper crusties will do as they like as Winston did and insist on his war with Germany even though the Germans had no interest in war with him. But as for the serfs?  DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT WALKING ON THE GRASS.

HenryKissinger… Bastiat Wed, 03/07/2018 - 09:41 Permalink

hopefully this will trigger AGAIN the pitchforks, torches and guillotines AGAIN and AGAIN...

if "education" left you disabled and unable to read more than 140 characters then there are video options available like:

-TIA total information awareness
-minority report
-black mirror episode Nosedive
-Things to come

if you know any other VIDEO xples please list them below...



In reply to by Bastiat

MoralsAreEssential Stuck on Zero Tue, 03/06/2018 - 21:57 Permalink

I sure hope so.  The only asset we humans have against this sort of regimentation and control is our ability to be unpredictably creative.  Looks like in China the New Boss is the same as the Old Boss.  I had hope that China would use a new emerging multipolar world to emphasize its ancient culture in a positive way.  This use of tech to create a prison of molded human beings suggests an awful power modeled on the worse predictions for humanity. 

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

ALANBEEKMAN Tue, 03/06/2018 - 14:29 Permalink

Sounds like the Chi-coms got the basic idea from us,

they're rolling theirs' out as slightly more repressive.

I mean, your life here in USSA is pretty much

shit if you get a poor credit score that

you have almost no control over.

How many HR departments are using

bad credit ratings in their hiring decisions,

in addition to scrutinizing your social media


etc., etc.


BendGuyhere Tue, 03/06/2018 - 17:34 Permalink

This kind of garbage exemplifies why China will NEVER be an innovative economy. China will ALWAYS be chasing the technological crumbs that fall from the West's table. The Han chinese mania for confucian conformity only leads to stagnation and rot. But they never learn. Stupid chinese!

Bring the Gold Tue, 03/06/2018 - 18:50 Permalink

I like how it ends with “comrade” there are a tiny handful of partially communist or socialist states. Most of them are in failure. The real problem in China and the West is crony capitalism where the well connected get subsidized and bailed out by everyone else. Privatized profits and socialized gains. And before you rush to defend our supposedly capitalist system ask yourself how many 0% interest loans YOU got from the FED after your investments failed? Zero? Right, it’s a big club and you ain’t in it!

roddy6667 Tue, 03/06/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

It's amazing how people who know nothing about China, who have never been within 5000 miles of the country, claim to know so much about it. Why is it that the people who have the strongest opinions and exhibit the strongest emotions about something are those who possess, at best. third hand knowledge acquired from sources best known for for disseminating propaganda? 

atomic balm Wed, 03/07/2018 - 02:16 Permalink

Chinese citizens will be rated on their real life and online behavior for things like patriotism, hard work, and avoiding materialism


yes, dialectical materialism must be avoided above all else