The Chinese authorities are implementing a Social Credit System. People’s behavior results in rewards (e.g. renting a car without having to pay a deposit) or restrictions (e.g. getting barred from buying plane tickets). So it’s kind of a big carrot and stick mechanism.
As is often the case, it’s not clear what is hype and what is true about the Social Credit System.
This article does a good job explaining the misrepresentations in the media.
Now, there are a few things missing from articles about the Social Credit System that deserve further investigation.
- How well integrated are the databases that are used to calculate the social credit score? As someone who has worked on similar projects (albeit on a much smaller scale and only in the financial sector), I know this is really hard to do.
- How efficient is the Social Credit System in reducing crime? Western media love to talk about the Chinese system as authoritarian. But journalists usually ignore the fact that Western authorities also collect and store all kinds of data about their citizens/residents. Traffic violations, convictions, face recognition networks, employment history, financial records, watchlists…
For example: several terrorists were flagged on the French fiche “S” list, but they still managed to kill people. Are the Chinese better at preventing crimes by extremists and habitual offenders?