Some experts are warning that other left-leaning governments may soon be tempted to carry out the Chinese government’s “Social Credit” system that came into full effect on May 1, 2018.
The plan introduced by Chinese President Jinping will monitor and control those who don’t agree with China’s communistic policies. People will be issued a score based on their political, social and economic activities and this score will affect their ability to do things in China.
Some suspect it is simply expanding a “Social Credit” system already developed by a major government-owned online Chinese retailer Alibaba. Alibaba’s financial division, Ant Financial, developed a social credit system called Sesame Credit.
While many western businesses have a point system rewarding people based on how much they buy, Sesame Credit includes a strong social aspect in its system where people receive a rating between 350 and 950. The higher the score the better.
The benefits of a high Sesame score include having government visa’s fast tracked, renting vehicles without a deposit. People with high Sesame ratings will even receive a higher profile ranking on certain dating websites.
Activities that lower your score include buying video games. Other things that affect your score negatively include social relationships. If you associate with people with low scores, you will be docked points.
Though Sesame’s system is voluntary, the Chinese government’s system is not and is expanding into other areas of a person’s life, particularly their online activity where the government is using computers and algorithms to monitor social media sites to track a person’s opinions.
If you are a member of the Communist party expect bonus points. Go to church lose points.
But it is more than just online activity that will be monitored. The Chinese government which already has tens of thousands of surveillance cameras in place plans to have 625 million surveillance cameras set up within next few years that will monitor everything its citizens do.
The system will be used to mold behavior. Among other things, people with high scores will have access to better hotels and schools for their kids. They will also be able to rent better apartments.
If people disagree or dare to criticize the communist government, the government will lower their credit score. Traffic fines and activities such as jay walking or smoking on trains could affect your score negatively. In many instances people will not even have to receive a fine to be punished, but they were simply tracked by a video camera or reported by a fellow citizen.
If your score is too low, you will not be able to take a train. The Chinese government noted that 6.17 million people were refused access to trains in 2017 because of a low “social credit” score.
As an example of how it works, the Chinese government recently prevented journalist Liu Hu from taking an airplane flight because of a low “social credit” score.
“I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to private school. You feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time.”
The Chinese government expects to have all its 1.35 billion citizens to be registered in the “Social Credit” system by 2020.
But there is even a greater concern that once its fully operational, China’s “Social Credit” system could impact other countries. According to Gordon Chang with the Gatestone Institute:
“Once the social credit system is up and running, it would be a small step to include non-Chinese into that system, extending Xi’s tech-fueled totalitarianism to the entire world.”
Foreign companies and people will also be monitored. Should a hotel chain list Taiwan as a country instead of a Chinese province on its website outside China, its credit score will be negatively impacted affecting its ability to do business in China.
Australian Samantha Hoffman, who currently works with Berlin’s Mercator Institute for China studies, told The Guardian:
“Companies don’t have a choice, but to comply if they want to continue doing business in China.”
She also wrote a report on the growing issue entitled: Social Credit: Technology-enhanced Authoritarian Control with Global Consequences. Written for the Australian government she urged the government to take a tougher stand on China’s attempt to interfere with Australia’s democracy.
Earlier this year, Muji, a Japanese retail store operating in China, was fined 200,000 yuan for having Taiwan labelled a country on one of the products sold in the store. Not only were they fined, but they lost points on its social credit score that could have much more serious long-term effects.
Other businesses such as airlines flying into China have been rewriting their websites to accommodate China’s “social credit” system.
For those similar to the end times, none of these moves are not surprising.
In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John saw in the end times that people will be controlled to such an extent that they will not be able to buy or sell without the mark of the beast. It speaks of a totalitarian government operating at a world-wide level.
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17 NASV)
The recent moves by Chinese President Xi Jinping are not surprising considering his sharp move to the political left. On May 5, 2018, the 200 anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, Jinping said in a speech:
“Today, we commemorate Marx in order to pay tribute to the greatest thinker in the history of mankind and also to declare our firm belief in the scientific truth of Marxism.”
In addition, the Chinese government sent a 14-foot bronze statue of Karl Marx to Trier, Germany, Marx’s home town. People were stunned that the city council not only accepted the statue, but actually installed it in the community. As well, the Chinese government released a video promoting Karl Marx’s birthday, with an image of a grey-headed Marx and his hand in “V” for victory signal. The video ad says “Marx was correct.”
- Experts: China’s social-credit scheme to go worldwide: WND
- China to ban citizens with bad ‘social credit’ rating from taking flights or using trains for up to a year: Independent
- China’s social credit system ‘could interfere in other nations’ sovereignty: The Guardian
- The tyranny of algorithms is part of our lives: soon they could rate everything we do: The Guardian