Chinese Social Credit System


Nicole L., Staff Writer

The Social Credit System was officially launched in China in 2014, and is expected to be finalized by 2020. Although the program hasn’t been applied yet, it has been projected that the Social Credit System would change Chinese society forever. Whenever you get caught in an offensive act against the Government, you will have credit deducted from your social score. If this credit falls too low, you will have your travel privileges taken away, such as a train or plane ticket. A temporary Blacklist system has been put in place, one that follows similar principles of that of the Social Credit. Chinese citizens are discredited for the smallest, simplest things, such as putting trash in the wrong bin.

It’s no secret that China is interested in Artificial intelligence (A.I). In fact, they plan on being  the global leader in A.I technology by 2030. They have almost all of their 1.4 billion citizens on file and have installed about 200 million cameras throughout China. These cameras enforce the blacklist system by catching people in the act of violations and discrediting them accordingly. In the past, facial recognition software has helped to find robbers, thieves, and criminals in public places. But now, China takes facial recognition into a new age.

For people on the “Blacklist”, there are heavy penalties. The Chinese Government puts a block on the offenders’ I.D card number. The special card gives access to many services in China, such as buying cars, hi-speed transportation, purchasing or decorating a home, and going on vacations or tours. Without this card, life is much better harder in China for the Blacklisted citizen. 

At the same time, there is a “Redlist” for particularly compliment citizens. People and businesses on this list are praised on a website called ChinaCredit. The Redlisters are posted on this website where they can be seen by the public.

However, there are much harsher penalties than card suspensions. The Chinese  Government forces you to change your ringtone. It might not seem like much, but the ringtone servers as public humiliation. I tells people around that you are a blacklist offender and cannot be trusted. After the ringtone is removed, you have repaid your debt and your good credit is restored. All in all, China’s choice to use the The Social Credit System will forever change the society and its citizens.