China’s social credit system will roll out in full by the end of 2020. However, even the preliminary utilization of the system has proven to be quite disconcerting. The National Development and Reform Commission and the People’s Bank of China revealed recently that 13.49 million people have been labeled as “untrustworthy” by the system.
Sankaku Complex picked up the news from the Daily Mail who in turn picked up the news from a Global Times piece titled “Social credit system to restore morality”, which was published on May 13th, 2019.
The report indicates that 20.47 million attempts to buy plane tickets have been blocked, along with 5.71 million attempts to buy high-speed train tickets by the 13.49 million “discredited individuals”.
This is up from the 12.77 million people who were labeled as “discredited” by the NDRC back in 2018, according to the Global Times.
It’s not just individuals who have been hit by the social credit system, companies have also been affected by the system, too. 33,000 companies that allegedly “violated laws and regulations” have also been put on to the list, according to the NDRC. Both individuals and companies are rated along four different areas, including administrative affairs, commercial activities, social behavior, and the judicial system.
Chinese media have been pushing the propaganda that people who end up on the bad side of the social credit system deserve to have their lives ruined. Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told Global Times in a piece published back on May 20th, 2018…
“How the person is restricted in terms of public services or business opportunities should be in accordance with how and to what extent he or she lost his credibility.”
“Discredited people deserve legal consequences. This is definitely a step in the right direction to building a society with credibility.”
China even released a propaganda video piece promoting the social credit system, which you can view below.
The Global Times piece basically summed up how the system is being peddled in mainland China, where it stated…
“The hypothetical theories of the West are based on their ignorance, Chinese experts say. “The purpose of the social credit system is not to monitor citizens or classify citizens into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories but to better serve people with good credit and warn dishonest people,” Yin Zhentao, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on finances, told the Global Times.
“China’s social credit system will help the country restore social trust, which is supported by the vast majority of Chinese people, Wu Ken, Chinese Ambassador to Germany, said in response to Western media reports in early May.”
Anyone who isn’t easily swayed by propaganda have expressed concern about the social credit system, since essentially your travel options are limited, your purchasing options are limited, and you’re likely subject to be whisked away by the “re-education” police.
To make matters worse, this doesn’t just apply to business, administrative, and travel functions, it also extends to entertainment. China is using a facial recognition machine learning system powered by artificial intelligence to keep track of people within the social credit system. Mega-corp Tencent is using the same facial recognition from the social credit system to monitor what games people play and limit play time for those who are determined to be minors.
Westerners fearful of China’s adoption of this system is well warranted. The fact that China has no qualms about promoting who is no longer allowed to make use of basic civic and social services should make anyone fearful about any country even remotely thinking about adopting a similar system.
(Thanks for the news tip VLOCKUP)