China’s Social Credit System Blocks People From Leaving

social credit

Ever since 2014 China has been conceptualizing and testing out their new “Social Credit System”. A system which rates the Chinese citizens based on actions they take in their daily lives and rates their “social credit score” based on said determined factors. Jaywalking, criticisms of governments policies, and now even behaviors deemed “bad for society” or whatever that may mean is factored into this arbitrary score. This system has kept citizens from approval of renting an apartment, allowance to move freely within the country by utilizing certain public transportation, and even being blocked from leaving the country as 138 individuals had to suffer according to the National Public Credit Information Center.

In the last couple of years, the social credit system has been tested in small scales in China’s major cities where camera systems have been put in place to monitor citizens. A person would be seen jaywalking, behaving in a disruptive manner, or even just having a conversation that could be outwardly seen as “bad for society” and points could be added or deducted as this system sees fit. Individuals internet activity is monitored as well where comments and messages exchanged on China’s social media pages where anonymity is rare if ever allowed within the “Great Wall” censorship network.

In a recent report coming out of this, an estimated 17.5 million train ticket purchases are blocked due to “bad social credit”. The ruling party in China hopes to have this system fully established by 2020 where penalties could even affect citizens ability to be promoted to a prominent position within companies and even be denied bank loans. What could come of this system in the coming decades as China comes down stronger with its revival of authoritarianism will be a violation of human rights on a scale we’ve rarely seen in recent history.

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Amos Joseph

Amos is a writer for Think Liberty, and the host of the "Shitlord Preachers" podcast available on youtube or other RSS feeds.


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