Wednesday November 21, 2018

Every Beijing Resident Will Have a Social Credit Score by 2020

In 2016, we reported that China was working on a "social credit score" system like something straight out of a dystopian novel. As it turns out, the Chinese weren't just blowing smoke, and have plans to implement it. According to a report posted by the Chinese government, which Bloomberg spotted, every one of the 22 million people living in Beijing will be judged by 2020.

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Those with better so-called social credit will get "green channel" benefits while those who violate laws will find life more difficult. The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be "unable to move even a single step," according to the government's plan. Xinhua reported on the proposal Tuesday, while the report posted on the municipal government's website is dated July 18. China has long experimented with systems that grade its citizens, rewarding good behavior with streamlined services while punishing bad actions with restrictions and penalties. Critics say such moves are fraught with risks and could lead to systems that reduce humans to little more than a report card.