Welcome To Xi Jinping's Orwellian Dystopia

Authored Vicky Xiuzhong Xu and Bang Xia oby via ABC.net.au,

Chinese authorities claim they have banned more than 7 million people deemed "untrustworthy" from boarding flights, and nearly 3 million others from riding on high-speed trains, according to a report by the country's National Development and Reform Commission.

The announcements offer a glimpse into Beijing's ambitious attempt to create a Social Credit System (SCS) by 2020 — that is, a proposed national system designed to value and engineer better individual behaviour by establishing the scores of 1.4 billion citizens and "awarding the trustworthy" and "punishing the disobedient".

Liu Hu, a 43-year-old journalist who lives in China's Chongqing municipality, told the ABC he was "dumbstruck" to find himself caught up in the system and banned by airlines when he tried to book a flight last year.

PHOTO: Chinese journalist Liu Hu was "dumbstruck" to find himself caught up on the bad side of the country's social credit system. (Supplied: Liu Hu)

Mr Liu is on a "dishonest personnel" list — a pilot scheme of the SCS — because he lost a defamation lawsuit in 2015 and was asked by the court to pay a fine that is still outstanding according to the court record.

"No one ever notified me," Mr Liu, who claims he paid the fine, said.

"It's baffling how they just put me on the blacklist and kept me in the dark."

Like the other 7 million citizens deemed to be "dishonest" and mired in the blacklist, Mr Liu has also been banned from staying in a star-rated hotel, buying a house, taking a holiday, and even sending his nine-year-old daughter to a private school.

And just last Monday, Chinese authorities announced they would also seek to freeze the assets of those deemed "dishonest people".

Bonus points for donating blood and volunteer work

PHOTO: Surveillance software identifying customers' patterns at a department store in Beijing. (Reuters: Thomas Peter)

As the national system is still being fully realised, dozens of pilot social credit systems have already been tested by local governments at provincial and city levels.

For example, Suzhou, a city in eastern China, uses a point system where every resident is rated on a scale between 0 and 200 points — every resident starts from the baseline of 100 points.

One can earn bonus points for benevolent acts and lose points for disobeying laws, regulations, and social norms.

According to a 2016 report by local police, the top-rated Suzhou citizen had 134 points for donating more than one litre of blood and doing more than 500 hours of volunteer work.

...

In Xiamen, where the development of a local social credit system started as early as 2004, authorities reportedly automatically apply messages to the mobile phone lines of blacklisted citizens.

"The person you're calling is dishonest," whoever calls a lowly-rated person will be told before the call is put through.

...

Could China combine these projects to engineer society?

If the Chinese Government manages to amalgamate the regional pilot projects and the immense amounts of data by 2020, it will be able to exert absolute social and political control and "pre-emptively shape how people behave," Samantha Hoffman, an independent consultant on Chinese state security, said.

"If you are aware that your behaviour will negatively or positively impact your score, and thus your life and the lives of those you associate with, then you will likely adjust your decision-making accordingly," Ms Hoffman said.

But the question remains if the Chinese authorities could really "pull it off", Ms Wang said.

"The Ministry of Public Security runs a number of databases, and then regional authorities also run their databases," Ms Wang said.

"It is difficult to know how these databases are related together and how they're structured and how they are updated.

"At the moment, I would say that they [are] updated to some extent but they're not very well integrated, and the integration is going to be difficult."

PHOTO: Some CCTV cameras have facial recognition or infrared capabilities. (Supplied: Dahua Technologies)

Hu Naihong, a finance professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, who is helping to build the national social credit system, seems to agree.

"The top-level design, the institutional framework, and the key documents are all in place, but there are still many problems to be solved," the professor said in a 2017 meeting in Zhejiang.

"The most serious problem being that all kinds of platforms are rigorously collecting [data], while having vague legal and conceptual basis and boundaries."

...

Many observers fear human rights could be increasingly violated via the social credit system, and — combined with a growing surveillance system and technologies such as facial recognition being rolled out across the country — the Chinese Government could have the ability to turn the system on its citizens.

"China is characterised by a system of 'rule by law', rather than true rule of law," Elsa B Kania, an expert in Chinese defence innovation and emerging technologies at the Centre for a New American Security, said.

"That law [and extra-legal measures] can be used as a weapon to legitimise the targeting of those whom the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] perceives as a threat.

"In such an environment, such a system could be abused to those same ends."

The question that remains to be answered in coming years, experts say, is where the line between "bettering society" and "controlling society" will be drawn.

PHOTO: There are fears China could turn its mass surveillance technologies on its people. (Supplied: Guiyang Public Security Bureau)

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Comments

Dr. Bonzo Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:06 Permalink

The ZH fanboys are drooling with raw uncontained hot Chinalust. Aw ZH, with your eternal China-bashing. China is great. China is awesome. China is the bestest. China ruuuuuuulez. You don't know, cause you've never been to China. But I was in China once in April last year for 3 days and I took several trips all over two places and a hotel and and let me tell ya.... OH.MY.GOD.... the infrastructure.... and OH! MY! GOD! Everything is like.... WOW! And POP! and WHIZ! and BANG!

All I can say after my extennnnnnsive China travels for those 3 days and two places and a hotel is.....

RAH! RAH! RAH! CHINA! RAH! RAH! RAH!

NoDebt Dindu Nuffins Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

I have no fear of China "taking over the world".  This article only buttresses that opinion.  They're just another bunch of power-mad Commies who put on a cloak of "freedom and entrepreneurship" without any of the underlying support systems needed to sustain that system.

Yet, among the elites in the US there is a strong desire to copy, even ENVY that system.  Which is amazing to me in its incredible shortsightedness.  

Apparently nobody gives a shit the state of the empire over which they rule, so long as they rule over it absolutely.  The Dark Ages all over again, but with iPhones.

 

 

In reply to by Dindu Nuffins

Shemp 4 Victory spag Mon, 04/02/2018 - 23:05 Permalink

 

via ABC.net.au

 Via ABC, Australian MSM. Australia, of course, is a member of the US-led "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance which, among other things, spies on each others' citizens and shares the information, thus circumventing laws against spying on their own citizens.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

Many observers fear human rights could be increasingly violated

 The "human rights" scam is just one of the ways the CIA subverts unfriendly governments via "Non-Governmental" Organizations. Hmmm, I wonder who these fearful observers might be...

"China is characterised by a system of 'rule by law', rather than true rule of law,"...

 Seems very US citizenish.

...Elsa B Kania, an expert in Chinese defence innovation and emerging technologies at the Centre for a New American Security, said.

Ah, there's the clue. The Center for a New American Security is a Vichy DC-based stink tank. The CEO is none other than Victoria Nuland, and its stench includes the likes of characters such as David Petraeus, Richard Armitage, James Clapper, and Hillary Clinton. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_a_New_American_Security

Just another example of US citizen projectionism, accusing others of what you've been doing for years.

But hey, gotta keep the fear alive somehow. The land of the brave is nothing without its fear.

In reply to by spag

whatswhat1@yahoo.com Shemp 4 Victory Tue, 04/03/2018 - 01:52 Permalink

Poor China, always slightly behind the curve with their unstructured databases, crashing space stations and ghastly pollution.  Will they ever be able to catch up to the behemoths like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian?  Not very likely.  So, if I have to hear one more gomer bragging about his or her credit score, I'm going to beat them happy with my i-Leash. 

(disclaimer: I do not own nor have I ever owned an i-device)

In reply to by Shemp 4 Victory

rwe2late whatswhat1@yahoo.com Tue, 04/03/2018 - 07:54 Permalink

 It doesn't stop with the credit rating agencies.

The USA already has an extensive no-fly list.

And let us not forget the mass incarceration system in which the USA is world leader.

Those on the extensive "felony" and "probation" lists are typically prohibited from voting and exercising other Constitutional rights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Fly_List

 

In reply to by whatswhat1@yahoo.com

Disgruntled Goat IridiumRebel Tue, 04/03/2018 - 03:22 Permalink

100%. Homosexual Tim Cook and Apple will assist them in perfecting the tools of repression. Zuckerberg and FB have already assisted in providing systems which censor "unapproved" content from internet access within China.

And they will do the same here, as soon as the Leftists get into power. Don't believe me? NYC is already instituting a system of facial recognitiom cameras at all bridges, tunnels and tolls throughout the city, interfacing them with license plate scanners in the same locations.

The tools of repression will be put in place slowly and with little notice, then, in the wake of another 911 type event, they will put our whole society on lockdown.

In reply to by IridiumRebel

ldd NoDebt Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:51 Permalink

as crazy as this may sound, some countries citizens could do well to be controlled more tightly. having spent time in china, it is not a bad thing to have these systems in place. traveling extensively in the region i can tell you the changes having taken place throughout asia from the influx of chinese tourists has been quite noticeable. they are not all like this but with such numbers it can be overwhelming. and they are not solely responsible for these changes but they do have an overwhelming effect. take for example japan where in the past ten years the mood of the japanese have noticeably changed from the effects of chinese tourists. another example are the koreans in the philippines that is having an adverse effect there with their non subtle behavior. it is why there are so many controls in place in korea such as koreans not allowed to go to casinos except for one in an isolated location. and not so long ago one could not get money from the atm after 10pm to constrain drunken impulses.

so yes humans being emotive creatures with many unable to control their impulses this may not be such a bad thing.

In reply to by NoDebt

techpriest NoDebt Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:52 Permalink

@NoDebt,

I have no fear of China "taking over the world". This article only buttresses that opinion.

Maybe the first commenter was poking at me because I married into a Chinese family, and in a couple of ways, Beijing does have conveniences I would like to see here in the US. But with that aside, I agree with you on this point because anyone with money over there has been getting their money and children out for years, and they have been raising the voltage on the fences to keep said money and (educated) children firmly in the Middle Kingdom. Countries do that when they are in trouble, not when they are free and prosperous, because citizens do not want to leave a country that has liberty and prosperity.

I also am baffled at how the political class here can see the same history and eagerly want to repeat it, but I've concluded that the typical member of the political class is stuck in the dark-age thinking that the only way for anything good to happen is if they force it to happen.

In reply to by NoDebt

techpriest Endgame Napoleon Tue, 04/03/2018 - 02:55 Permalink

They did that one day, and the next day the workers and the students started settings all kinds of things on fire, flipping buses full of police, etc. Quite a few protesters/rioters did catch a face full of lead, unfortunately.

That was why they rolled in the tanks btw. The students were thought to be unimportant, but all the local workers joined in, and that meant that a real revolt was on the edge of breaking out.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

swmnguy Dr. Bonzo Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:40 Permalink

Wow, Dr., were you in Shanghai, and maybe Hong Kong?  Or Beijing?  Stay at the Shangri-La hotels there?  Or, as I like to call it, the "Shangri-Wow"?  Ni-Hao, baby!  As I say as I walk around, "Why yes, my good man, I would like to buy a watch, handbag, DVD, shoes.  Show me your best wares.  I'll pay with American Dolla, special price."

In reply to by Dr. Bonzo

Stormtrooper Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:11 Permalink

I'm sure the Chinese have been working with the American NSA to gather the best spying technologies available.  They will need entire cities full of computers to store all of their social data.

POORICH Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

Flew a couple of flights into Shanghai when it first "opened" in '83-'84 ... it was completely bombed-out '30s China.

Now ... w/ western $$$ ... they think they are 'da bomb.  Just like the J's did in the '80s.

Standby for an edumacation (sic) ...

A Sentinel POORICH Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:45 Permalink

Exactly the right parallel! 

As the japs came out of their dark ages, they hit a stride and in the ‘80s everyone was sure Japan would own everything.

what actually happened was that their hero-worship culture proved them (with exceptions like Sony) to be incapable of free market capitalism. China has Confucianism which is much, MUCH worse than Japanese Shinto caste-esque weirdness.

In reply to by POORICH

Endgame Napoleon A Sentinel Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:56 Permalink

China has a focus on family connections and traditions that run counter to the individualism, inherent in Western capitalism.

Centuries ago, Japan had a middle class, and they maintain a big middle class despite their economic downturn in the Nineties. They seem to orchestrate a middle class.

They do not have the individualism of Western cultures, but a middle-class society is less autocratic.   

In reply to by A Sentinel

PGR88 Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:39 Permalink

Don't worry, its China. Everyone will learn how to game the system. You know, buy social credits from friends who work for the police, add demerits to your husband's mistress, etc...

Sparkey Mon, 04/02/2018 - 22:45 Permalink

"

 

"The question that remains to be answered in coming years, experts say, is where the line between "bettering society" and controlling society" will be drawn."

Obviously the best society will be the best controlled society, a planned society with lots of Soma for everyone, where Expert Algorithms  make all the decisions certainly including who lives and when you die, will obviously be the Utopia we all long for, at least someone is longing for that!

gregga777 Mon, 04/02/2018 - 23:04 Permalink

It would be a hoot to hack into their systems and list all 1.4 billion Chinese as dishonest people with far less than 100 points. Just think of the chaos such a mind fuck would create. Now the CIA will Probably steal my idea and carry it out.