China Creates ‘Social Credit System’—Rates Its Citizens Based On Their Behavior
The Chinese government
is planning to launch a ‘Social Credit System’—similar to a Black Mirror
episode—that will be used to evaluate the trustworthiness of citizens.
The system was first
announced in 2014 and is voluntary for now but will be mandatory by 2020.
To create the
social credit scores, the government has employed the help of large Chinese corporations with access to significant amounts of data. The companies, which include messaging app WeChat, financial services and insurance company Sesame Credit, and Alibaba’s AliPay are combining their data to rate citizens according to five main criterias.
credit history, fulfilment capacity, personal characteristics, behaviors and interpersonal relationships.
“Someone who plays
video games for ten hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person,” Sesame’s Technology Director Li Yingyun said. “Someone who frequently buys diapers would be considered as probably a parent, who on balance is more likely to have a sense of responsibility.”
AdvertisementApparently, millions of
people have already registered for this and the Chinese government is proactively providing incentives to encourage them to do so.
When users of
the system reach certain point milestones, they get rewarded with perks such as faster check-in at hotels, access to cash loans and even faster processing of travel visas.
, images via Netflix