What is the social credit system?

2 min
Tags: social-credit-system transparent China databases surveillance Facial recognition

What is the social credit system?

In 2014, the first measures were taken to introduce a so-called social credit system in China, with the aim that it will eventually be mandatory to use it. The system is used to record and evaluate individual companies in the country in special lists and databases. This makes the whole process much more transparent than usual. Anyone who wants to set up a new business in China or continue to run an existing company should carefully consider whether they can do so under the aspects of the social credit system.

What exactly is the social credit system?

The social credit system uses a wide variety of measures to monitor companies, classify organizations and associations, and store all important data. It is then possible for the state to discipline and possibly even punish inappropriate behavior. If, on the other hand, a company complies with all guidelines and requirements, it will be evaluated positively. Nevertheless, this system brings with it some critical voices. For example, a company has long since ceased to be solely responsible for itself, but is much more accountable to the state and is simply transparent. Digital surveillance techniques such as video surveillance and facial recognition are also used for this purpose.

The system is now being used not only in China. Social credit systems already exist in many other countries, including here in Europe and in America.

What is the social credit system designed to achieve?

Probably the biggest point to be achieved in any case is that companies will be much more transparent and easier for the state to see. This means that criminal activities can no longer be easily concealed. At present, the system is still under construction, but it will soon be fully implemented. The regime in China wants to use it to better understand and classify the behavior of companies, organizations and even private citizens at various levels. This applies, for example, to political attitudes or socially acceptable behavior. Thus, the social credit system has a kind of educational function.

This is to achieve that a preventive self-control is created. This means that the companies know on their own what is right and what is not. This way, there are fewer problems and they also get a positive evaluation in addition.

Putting the common good first

It is no longer the companies themselves that come first, but the common good. And this is precisely what companies and private individuals should always be guided by. Thus, it is always important to approach one's fellow human beings in a socially responsible manner. In addition, it helps to voluntarily take on certain charitable tasks in order to receive a better rating.

Other goals of the social credit system

Some of the goals of the social credit system in China have already been mentioned. It is also to prevent food scandals and detect corrupt incidents. It is a monitoring for the welfare and safety of citizens. If they abide by all the rules and laws, they will receive a positive rating. Similarly, the state wants to keep a better eye on debt and financial management. And if there are potential improvements, they can be made quickly. Similarly, a resident's creditworthiness can be determined even if they don't have a bank account. At the moment, companies and government agencies only have some of the data. However, it is very likely that in the future all data available online will be linked. And so the transparent human system becomes perfect.