social credit system 2

Social Credit System, 2



detail recognize monitor (2)
rank count (3) keep in line
scary cover (2) subject (3)
sort of aggregate spend/spent/spent
choice right (4) keep track
rate so-called take into account
moral court (3) high-profile
habit remove fine-tooth comb
display criticize outward sign
praise model (3) testing ground
retire ground dream (3)
debt jaywalk respect (2)
errand founder lose/lost/lost
score purchase innocuous
nappy indicate attentive (2)
perks pilot (2) plaster (2)
deprive discount benefit (2)
shame principal name and shame
screen better off trustworthy
loan principle it’s a matter of principle
honest condone considered
instant blacklist pay the price (2)
gather condemn pay/paid/paid
behave uncover to date (2)
profile big data defamation
sue brand (3) supreme court
ban minority private (2)
dare rule (2) restriction
role (2) languish one kind or another
hierarchy a long way to go






They’re constantly monitored by facial-recognition cameras, that are able to instantly to put a face to a name.

Now the Chinese are also ranked, given a mark out of a possible nine-hundred-and-fifty (950) points. A score in the seven-hundreds is considered good; around the five-hundred mark is not.

For now, the number is a sort of bad credit rating, keeping track of everyone’s spending habits.

Male Resident, One: “I think being ranked is a good thing. A society has to have rules.”
Male Resident, Two: “It forces us to be well-behaved.
Female Resident, Three: “It may be scary, but we’re used to that here. And anyway, we don’t have a choice.”

But in an effort to keep all of its subjects in line, Beijing is taking the system a step further in 2020. It’s aggregating data gathered by banks, private companies and the state to rate if someone is a good or bad citizen.

Lin Junyue, Founder of China’s Social Credit Theory: “By using the most data possible, the so-called “Big Data”, the system will play an important role in rebuilding a moral society.”

The State will go over every detail of a person’s life with a fine-toothed comb: a financial situation, spending habits, career, even behavior on social media.

Criticizing the government online or displaying outward signs of wealth is a no-no.

On the other hand, praising the Party or giving blood increases your social credit.

Xiao Wen Wang is a model citizen. She lives in Nanjing, a testing ground for social ranking. Married with a child, she has a job in a retirement home, no debts — and she wouldn’t dream of jaywalking.

Xiao Wen Wang, Model Citizen: “As a good citizen, I respect the rules of the road; if I didn’t, I’d lose points on social credit.”

In theory, everything can be taken into account in your social score, even innocuous errands, like supermarket shopping.

When Xiao Wen Wang makes an electronic payment, her purchases tell the State a lot about her: buying cigarettes would count against her; on the other hand, nappies show that she’s an attentive mother. Beer could indicate alcoholism; she’s be better off buying water.

In this pilot city of eight-million people, there are only eighteen-thousand (18,000) model citizens.

For Xiao Wen Wang, there are perks to be had, such as paying half-price for the bus.

Xiao Wen Wang, Model Citizen: “I get discounts for all public services, even at museums. And the library is free for me, thanks to my score.”

A good score brings benefits — but people with low scores lose rights. The cinema names and shames people considered untrustworthy, plastering their names, even their addresses across the screen.

Female Resident, Four: “It’s a matter of principle: those people have to be condemned.”
Female Resident, Five: “Those people aren’t honest; so they have to pay the price.”
Male Resident, Six: “It’s only right to pay your debts. You have to blacklist those that don’t.”

A supreme court has created a blacklist for so-called “bad” citizens . . . those whose ratings have dropped to zero. On it are companies, but also twenty-three (23) million people to date.

Among them is this journalist, Liu Hu. He got a little too close to uncovering corruption among high-profile party members. After being sued for defamation about a story he had written, he was blacklisted.

He only realized when he tried to buy a train ticket, and was told he was banned from traveling.

Liu Hu, Journalist: “That tells me that I’m still on the blacklist.”

Punished because he has been branded “untrustworthy” by the State.

Liu Hu, Journalist: “Once you’re blacklisted, you can no longer get a bank loan, start a business, find an apartment, or even send your children to a private school.”

Liu Hu is among a tiny minority of people who have dared to criticize the system, which some are calling a digital dictatorship.

Liu Hu, Journalist: “I worry, because I think many people like me will be deprived of individual freedom.

And all of us will live with restrictions of one kind or another.”

After our meeting, Liu Hu learned that his name had been removed from the blacklist — but he still has a long way to go, if he doesn’t want to languish at the bottom of the social credit hierarchy.


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1. The police and authorities in China rely solely on eye-witness accounts and reports by individuals of what they consider wrongdoing. Is this correct or incorrect?

2. What is the social credit system? Describe the social credit system. What is its purpose, according to the government?

3. All Chinese citizens tell the journalist that they hate the system. Is this right or wrong?

4. Is the social crediting system rating based only on surveillance camera inputs of individuals?

5. “Good” and “bad” behaviors in China is the same as in the US and other Western countries. Is this entirely true, mostly true, in the middle, yes and no, it depends, largely false or entirely false?

6. What are the consequences if someone has a high credit rating? What happens when a person has a low credit score?

7. “Liu Hu is among a tiny minority of people who have dared to criticize the system, which some are calling a ‘digital dictatorship’.” What does this mean? What can you infer from this?


A. There are surveillance cameras in my city. Yes or no? Where are they?

B. What are the benefits, pros or advantages of surveillances and “Big Data”?

C. Are there their drawbacks, cons or disadvantages?

D. How do your friends, colleagues and neighbors feel about surveillances and “Big Data”?

E. What might happen in the future?

F. Should citizens and governments do anything?

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