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China Rolls Out ‘Black Mirror’ Social System, Low-Rated Citizens Cannot Travel
By Izza Sofia, 18 Mar 2018
Late last year, news surfaced about China’s plans to trial a social-rating system, similar to Black Mirror’s ‘Nose Dive’ episode.
In this system called Zhima Credit, citizens are judged according to a numeric score based on how they interact with people.
Initially expected to go full force only in 2020, it seems as though the plan is kicking into effect much earlier than expected.
According to Reuters, the new social rules are slated to roll out starting 1 May 2018. This movement was created in line with President Xi Jinping’s plan to form a merit system based on a “once untrustworthy, always restricted” principle, which is supported by eight ministries.
Zhima Credit discourages social misdeeds by limiting travel to those who are put on the restricted list. For instance, as per statements issued on China’s National Development and Reform Commission websites on 2 March, people found to be spreading false information related to terrorism, using expired tickets to board trains, and employers guilty of not paying social insurance, would be barred from traveling on planes or trains for up to a year.
According to the Telegraph, citizens will accumulate a score between 350 and 950. Carrying out activities such as donating blood and charity work will earn citizens a higher rating, while doing something undesirable will earn them a lower score.
Higher-ranking citizens will have shorter waiting times at the hospital and cheaper transportation fees, while those who have lower scores will have slower internet speeds and might not be able to dine in restaurants.
Despite this official start date, there are signs indicating that China could have already indirectly implemented this system years ago. In early 2017, China’s Supreme People’s Court stated that 6.15 million Chinese citizens were not allowed to board planes due to their unruly behavior.
[via Reuters, opening image via Netflix]
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