China Issues Guidelines For Ranking 1.3 Billion Social Credit Scores

China's top economic adviser has issued guidelines over how to introduce incentives that can boost a person's social credit score, according to ECNS

Issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, the new guidelines include 15 preferential policies to evaluate if a person should be considered a 'role model' in terms of creditworthiness. 

Outstanding individuals in the system can freely acquire personal credit reports a number of times in a year, and freely search information in the national credit information online platform, according to the regulation.

They will also enjoy fast-tracked services when applying for administrative approval, qualification reviews, credit cards or personal loans, patents or copyright registration, and quick refunds from financial institutions or platform companies. -ECNS

The guidelines also state that role models will have priority access to public elderly care services as well as preferential treatment when applying for civil service positions. 

Cities are encouraged to reward outstanding individuals with benefits in education, housing, employment, medicare and and administrative approvals. 

"Keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful," is the guiding ideology of Beijing's attempt to crack down on rampant corruption, financial scams, corporate scandals and petty crimes. 

 In the eastern city of Hangzhou, “pro-social” activity includes donating blood and volunteer work, while violating traffic laws lowers an individual’s credit score. In Zhoushan, an island near Shanghai, no-nos include smoking or driving while using a mobile phone, vandalism, walking a dog without a leash and playing loud music in public. Too much time playing video games and circulating fake news can also count against individuals. According to U.S. magazine Foreign Policy, residents of the northeastern city of Rongcheng adapted the system to include penalties for online defamation and spreading religion illegally. -Washington Post

"Untrustworthy conduct" by both business and individuals includes failure to repay loans, illegal fund collection, false and misleading advertising, swindling customers, and - for individuals, acts such as taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals.

According to a February report by SCMParound 17.46 million people who are "discredited" were prevented from buying plane tickets, while 5.47 million were disallowed from purchasing tickets to China's high-speed train system. 

Legal experts have expressed concern that the accelerated use of the creditworthiness system trample on what little privacy rights they have in China. 

"Many people cannot pay their debt because they are too poor but will be subject to this kind of surveillance and this kind of public shaming," said one attorney quoted by SCMP, who added "It violates the rights of human beings."