China’s Social Credit System

In 2020, China is aiming to introduce a ‘Social Credit System’ that assesses its citizens’ and businesses’ economic and social reputation or also known as credit.

The aim of the social credit system is reinforce the idea that “Keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful” according to a Chinese government document. 

A person’s credit score can fluctuate depending on their behaviour. Things that will influence your score include bad driving, smoking in non-smoking areas, posting fake news online and buying too many video games. 

If your social credit ranking goes below a certain level you will start to receive punishments and sanctions. These include banning you from flying or getting the train, slowing down internet speed, banning you or your kids from the best schools, stopping you from getting the best jobs, banned from the best hotels, getting your dog taken away and being publicly named as a bad citizen. 

Citizens with a higher social ranking will start to receive benefits such as getting discount on bills, rent things without deposits, better interests rates from banks and China’s biggest dating site will boost your profile to receive more matches.

The social credit system that China are looking to implement has been compared to rating systems in the United Kingdom. The Disclosure and Barring Service Database in the UK collects data on citizen’s credit scores, phone usage and rent payment which filters job applicants, determines access to social services and determines advertisements served.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the system, whether it is an invasion of privacy by the government and an excuse to mass surveil the country’s population. However, there are Chinese citizens that think the social credit system is a good idea or so they say it is. When the system was tested in one area of the country, one citizen stated “I feel like in the past six months, people’s behaviour has gotten better and better. For example, when we drive, now we always stop in front of crosswalks. If you don’t stop, you will lose your points. At first, we just worried about losing points, but now we got used to it.”

Personally I wouldn’t want to be part of a social credit system, but it will be interesting to see how it works out once it has been implemented in a couple of years. It does have the potential to improve social behaviour but I think the whole system is massively flawed as it will force citizens to act a certain way because they are worried about being sanctioned as opposed to them acting that way naturally, which would ultimately be the desirable outcome.

Future Of China

China is the second largest economy and one of the fastest growing countries on the planet. But what does the future of China look like?

In 1978, after years of state control of all productive assets, the government of China embarked on a major economic reform. Since then their economy has grown at an average of 9.91%, which is roughly 7-8% higher than the average.

China is not only focusing on rapid development but it’s also attempting to improve the quality of life for their citizens and countering issues such as wealth gap and pollution. The massive outrage against rising pollution has opened an opportunity for electric carmakers such as Tesla and Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. to push for business expansion. This would massively improve not only their environment but improve the quality of life for their citizens. 

The rapid growth in China has allowed them to become a massive player in the technology industry. Nine of the world’s twenty biggest tech companies are Chinese, with Alibaba and Tencent the two largest.

Alibaba is a multinational conglomerate specialising in e-commerce, retail, internet, AI and technology. Alibaba is heavily reinvesting revenue into growth and looking for global expansion. As a result of this it has made Alibaba even more profitable than Amazon, although that does not mean much now as the the main priority for both of these companies would be future growth. 

Tencent is a multinational investment holdings conglomerate, whose subsidiaries specialise in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology both in China and globally. Belonging to the technology sector means the company will be affected directly and indirectly by a number of disruptive opportunities and challenges over the coming decades. Internet penetration will grow from 50 percent in 2015 to over 80 percent by the late-2020s, allowing regions across Africa, South America, the Middle East and parts of Asia to experience their first Internet revolution. This will be a massive opportunity for Tencent as they own so many technology companies that will most definitely profit from this growth.

So what does China’s future look like? The Chinese government has announced “Made in China 2025” which is a bold plan to revolutionise the country’s image. Their new policies are aimed at enhancing innovation and production efficiency. China’s goal for 2015 was to become the world’s largest manufacturer of goods, which they achieved. Their goal for 2035 is to be competitive with developed manufacturing economies. By 2049 their goal is to become the world’s top manufacturer. The ultimate goal for China is to change China from a mass-producer to a quality-master and they are on track.