Social Credit Score

Written by
1 October 2018

China’s ‘Social Credit’ system gives people a score that determines their social standing. People with higher scores, which is influenced by decisions and actions they make, get better treatment in life through better hotels and transport than people with lower scores.

Or, as the Chinese government so creepily puts it, ‘it will allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.’

To see how I’d fare under this, I researched what some of the things are that can get points deducted from your score

  • Playing video games for
    too long
  • Jaywalking
  • Buying too much alcohol
  • Wasting money on frivolous purchases
  • Befriending people with a low social score
  • Insincere apologies (I’m not kidding, Google “Li Xiaolin Social Credit”)
  • Posting criticisms of the government on social media (or in magazines, such as by asking people to Google “Li Xiaolin Social Credit”)
  • Leaving bikes on a footpath
  • Not showing up to a restaurant despite having a reservation

Based on that information, I would be declared a non-citizen and recommended for re-education within 27 seconds of implementation.

I’m in trouble.

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James Bolt

James Bolt is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs

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