August 7, 2022


“You are only worth 213”

“China plans to implement a social credit system by 2020”. In short, every one of the 1.3 billion citizens residing within China will be assigned a “value” open for all to see. This information is unrestricted; for example, neighbors can see information including your credit and spending habits. A citizen’s value is determined by “monitoring an individual’s social behavior”. This system is yet to be implemented and will most likely struggle to pass, but it mimics familiar popular dystopia.

This system has multiple implications. It conglomerates personal information for each individual. Hypothetically, this allows corporations, such as healthcare, insurance, and banks to determine whether or not they should extend their services to individuals in a far more efficient and organized manner. This scoring also motivates persons to improve social behavior in order to appeal to the public. A higher score indicates a respectable, well-founded, individual. As the CCP (China Communist Party) advertises, “the system is to promote ‘socialist core values,’ to ‘serve the growth and development of young people to promote the construction of social integrity,’ and to ‘provide a wealth of public welfare credit services and market-oriented credit products.’”

However, this system is far more detrimental than beneficial. Within this system, further reinforcement of inclusion and exclusion practices will surely occur. A common practice among the service industry may include examples such as, “we will no longer by supplying individuals with ____________ if their score is below the 500 threshold”. This blank could be occupied with anything: medicine, scholarships, etc. These scores become unrepresentative of any individual when it comes to estimating value. Numbers will most likely be inflated for the people who have resources available to them while those who struggle in rural settlements will never even see their score.