Translated by
2019/10/01 11:30:13

Social rating in China



As the social rating in China works

The number of violations for which in 2018 to the population lowered social rating included false advertizing and violation of safety rules of medicines. 290 thousand cases when to individuals with low rating prohibited to hold executive positions are recorded or to be legal representatives of the company.

To the people who refused to do military service also prohibit to have a rest in certain places and hotels. At the same time the state both awards people, and punishes. People with high social rating will quicker get permission to visit of such places as Europe.

Citizens can also receive discounts for accounts on the electric power, lease things without pledge and receive the lowered percent on the credit in bank.

By the beginning of March, 2019 of a system of civil scoring work in  40 cities  of Celestial Empire —  test them in  the pilot mode. Depending on the region conditions of increase and downgrade can change.

For example,  in the city of Suzhou each citizen can earn up to  200 points for blood donation and volunteer activity. The rating depends both on  financial and  professional position, and  on  household factors. For  merits before local community to Chinese allow to use longer public bicycles and  to take more books in  library.  At the same time the person can be punished for delay of utility payments or a reservation of a table at restaurant which it did not use without notice institutions.

In one of the cities in the Province of Shandong each inhabitant gets initial point in 1000 points. People can earn additional points for the behavior encouraged by the government, for example, charity, and are fined — for unwillingness to give way in transport to the disabled person, the expectant mother or the elderly person. The high rating gives advantages when using of state services, and low points have negative effect on social benefits.

The national system of face recognition which is created in China allows to downgrade violators automatically
The national system of face recognition which is created in China allows to downgrade violators automatically

One of lawyers in a conversation with The Wall Street Journal told that  one of  his clients, the co-owner of travel agency, after  the arisen disagreements with  the owner of the apartment which he rented lost a lawsuit  —  and  was forced  not only  to pay the lessor  by a court decision,  but also lost an opportunity to buy  plane tickets and  on  high-speed trains   cannot accompany clients any more,  i.e.  was punished twice for    same.

By March, 2019 in China project implementation of creation of the national database  on the basis of  face recognition continues. For the sake of it in  the country build network of surveillance cameras which the Chinese authorities call  the world's largest: 176 million cameras are already installed, is going to set about 450 million more till  2020. It is unknown how many Chinese cameras are equipped with the system of face recognition, but,  as envisioned by the authorities, by  2020 the artificial intelligence will be able  to recognize in three seconds  by sight each of  nearly 1.4 billion residents of the country.

Having integrated these data with  bases of police, banks and  online services, the authorities will be able to reveal violations in public places and to lower social rating in the automatic mode.


Input of a system of social rating for the companies in China

At the end of September, 2019 it became known of introduction in China of the system of social rating for the companies, including foreign. Business will strictly have to observe about 300 requirements which concern tax control, environmental protection, labor safety, product quality, cyber security, etc.

The Chinese and foreign companies are obliged to study about 1.5 thousand pages with provisions which they need to observe to continue business in the People's Republic of China. Otherwise, they risk to appear in "black list". Regulations on taxes and hiring are especially important.

It became known of introduction in China of the system of social rating for the companies, including foreign
It became known of introduction in China of the system of social rating for the companies, including foreign

The chamber of commerce of the European Union on affairs in China released a comprehensive investigation how deployment of a corporate system of social crediting in Celestial Empire will affect the market relations.

Before discussion of the system of social rating introduced in China was concentrated on relationship of a system with individuals whereas its destructive business impact remained almost unnoticed. The corporate system uses modern technologies for monitoring, control and management of market participants. It includes various requirements, compliance to which forms a basis for calculation of rating.

The behavior of the companies within a system will be constantly traced, and estimates to be adjusted and if the enterprises are not able to correspond to all aspects of a system, they are threatened by different sanctions or even entering into the black list.

The majority of rating requirements concern strict observance of market rules. The international companies, as a rule, will be have good opportunities for maximizing results of rating, but fight for additional resources is necessary to them. The choice of the correct partners and suppliers, and then their regular monitoring will also become a part of business as the ratings of partners will influence own credit rating of the company. At the same time the system of normative ratings will demand collecting of huge amounts of data, generally by the obligatory reporting before state bodies.

Representatives of Chamber of commerce of the EU in China warn the companies that a system will affect all aspects of their existence, and mismatch to the provided parameters can impose a cross on any development.[1]

To the Chinese who are often changing work will downgrade the rating

At the beginning of April, 2019 the authorities of the Province of Zhejiang located in the east of China decided to punish citizens who often change work, by decrease in their social rating.

That inhabitants Zhejiang for frequent change of employers begin to be fined lowering of social rating, the representative of local administration Ge Pingan reported.

In the Province of Zhejiang of inhabitants will punish for frequent job change by lowering of social rating
In the Province of Zhejiang of inhabitants will punish for frequent job change by lowering of social rating

These measures are designed to provide stable employment of the population, the staff of personnel department and social security of the province reported. In the report of the government it is said that it is possible to implement such plan as information about 10 million residents of the province obtained using the system of social insurance is already stored in personnel department and social security.

Complaints of one of the trading companies of the province in which the high level of dismissals was noted were the cause for imposition of sanctions. It was not pleasant to company management that they are forced to pay workers with whom wish to terminate the agreement, however nothing is received in exchange when the employee decides to leave a workplace. The deputy prime minister of the province answered that he will take measures for the solution of this problem.

The idea caused fierce reaction from the Chinese asking a question and whether similar sanctions for firms which force the employees to leave jobs will be imposed. Many noted that the similar step is contrary to the labor code of China and encroaches on personal freedom.

Nevertheless implementation of this plan is quite real. Many Chinese cities became test platforms for social programs which force the companies and individuals to follow the introduced rules. So, in 2018 more than 3.59 million Chinese organizations were added to the official black list which prohibited them to be engaged in different types of activity, including biddings on projects, entry into security markets, participation in land auctions and release of corporate bonds. About 17.46 million "discredited" Chinese lost the right to buy plane tickets, and 5.47 million more cannot buy tickets for high-speed trains any more.[2]

China starts social rating for youth

At the end of March, 2019 the Chinese company CY Credit in partnership with the Central committee of Communistic youth league and the National commission on development and reforms started social rating for youth. Read more here.


Did not sell to Chinese with low social rating 23 million tickets for airplanes and trains

In 2018 Chinese could not purchase about 23 million tickets for airplanes and trains from the low social rating. Such data are provided in the report of the National center of the public credit information (National Public Credit Information Center, NPCIC) published in February of the 2019th.

To potential Chinese air passengers who did not pay taxes penalties or allowed other violations which led to decrease in social rating, did not sell in total 17.5 million tickets. With rail transportation the volume of failures to such citizens was measured in a case by 5.5 million. These people became "discredited" for not specified behavioural crimes.

Chinese select tours from the agency, on March 3, 2018.
Chinese select tours from the agency, on March 3, 2018.

Because of unpaid taxes of 128 people could not leave China in 2018, and 3.59 million unreliable physical persons and legal entities were included in black lists of the government. Participants of these lists cannot buy the land, issue bonds and even to use public transport, notes the Nikkei edition. Besides, the companies can lose the right to the conclusion of government contracts, receiving the credits and commodity import.

In 2018 the authorities created 18 more new "black lists" (their total quantity reached 51), which among other things cover such areas as insurance, accounting, statistics, etc. In 2018 3.59 million people were added to these lists.

According to NPCIC, by the end of December the 2018th about 3.5 million citizens of the People's Republic of China "voluntarily executed the duties before the state". 37 people paid 150 million yuans (about $22 million) of overdue penalties in the amount.[3]

The academician Rogier Creemers specializing in the Chinese legislation in Leiden University in the Netherlands called the system of the social credit in China "perhaps, the brightest manifestation of intention of the Chinese government to strengthen legal, normative and political processes by means of application of information technologies". 

In addition to the system of social rating created by request of the Chinese government, the Central Bank authorized eight business companies to create own solutions estimating credit rating of citizens. The most popular among them — Sesame Credit — is created by the developer of financial Ant Financial Services Group technologies who collects data from an online ecosystem of Alibaba (by the beginning of 2019 totals more than 700 million users). Though Ant Financial denies the participation in creation of a national system of social rating, estimates from Sesame Credit consider many state institutions, including libraries.

System testing of "social rating"

According to the message of November 26, 2018 in China passes system testing of "social rating" which will even more toughen control over the population.

Using the system of face recognition tracking actions of citizens will be performed. For each offense it will charge points, and the more them at the person, the below it "social rating". The rating will define the access level of the citizen to jobs, services, travel and other benefits. In the near future registration in a system will become obligatory for all.

The municipal commission of development and reforms of Beijing stated that by 2020 it will begin registration of all residents of the capital and the companies registered in Beijing. The government of Celestial Empire intends to enter obligatory registration in a system on all territory of the country into the same time.

An expanded system affects practically all aspects of social life of citizens and in particular such intimate sphere as appointments. So, big "visibility" in applications is provided to citizens for acquaintances to high rating. The rating also influences an opportunity to send children to private schools and the universities, to fly by airplanes, to go in trains and to book rooms in high quality hotels.

According to some information, to users with low rating the speed of the Internet specially slows down. Besides, their applications for receiving executive positions are not taken cognizance.

The technical aspect of a system does not reveal. Nevertheless, it is known that a number of the state and private organizations monitor whether timely citizens pay bills that publish in social networks, than is engaged on the Internet whether they break the law and even avoid military service[4].

To millions of Chinese prohibited to travel because of low social rating

To several million citizens of China it was refused an opportunity to travel because of low social rating. As of April, 2018 the insufficient rating of reliability became the reason of canceling of 4.25 million trips by high-speed trains and 11.14 million flights by the airplane, will tell the Global Times edition[5].

The electronic system of social rating in the People's Republic of China began to be tested in 2010, and to 2014 to implement in large quantities. The law-abiding and reliable citizens having high rates in rating get a number of privileges, for example, chance to get good job, a priority at service in state institutions and an opportunity to obtain the credit. At the same time traffic offense, criticism of the power on social networks and the denunciations written by neighbors negatively affect indicators of rating and deprive of the citizen of such basic rights as an opportunity to travel.

"The improved system of social crediting is necessary to bring the discredited people to complete bankruptcy […] Payment for unreliability needs to be increased, otherwise people will continue to behave in the same vein", - the former member of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Hou Yongchong said.

According to plans of the Chinese government, by 2020 the system of assessment of reliability should cover 1.4 billion residents of the People's Republic of China.

Credit rating in China will be defined by online purchases and profiles in social networks

In February, 2018 it became known that the central bank China approved an initiative of the companies Tencent and Alibaba Group of creation of a system of credit rating of citizens on the basis of online purchases and profiles on social networks. In more detail here.

Criticism of a system

2019: Akimov called social rating in China "awful" experience

Russia is not going to implement observation systems behind the population, similar to those which are used in China. It on air of   Govorit Moskva radio station in July, 2019 was said by the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia  Maxim Akimov.

Experience of China on creation of observation systems for citizens will not be used in Russia, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Maxim Akimov said
Experience of China on creation of observation systems for citizens will not be used in Russia, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Maxim Akimov said

According to him, the Chinese system of social rating of citizens on the basis of their personal data is an awful experience.

To the government the president set the task of  the digital agenda to provide the maximum protection of the rights of the personality, the maximum protection of the rights of people — Maxim Akimov says. — The way of social rating   is unacceptable for us, it  bears much more destructive effects  in terms of social trust.

The Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation assured that in  Russia there are no plans for creation of a system of social rating though recognized that such public discussion goes by July, 2019, and  there are people who say that technology development requires to give up as a bad job  human rights.

Akimov noted that in Russia a situation with human rights difficult and it is necessary to be guided by  the fact that  the person is the only source of data on  himself.

But as for the digital world, the basic humanitarian law — the fact that the person is the only manager of the rights as is the only source of data on itself — this basic paradigm should remain  — the Deputy Prime Minister reported.

He not for the first time speaks the systems of estimation of citizens and their social rating in China. At the Sberbank Data Science Day conference in November, 2018 the Deputy Prime Minister called such technologies "explicit threat" which, according to him, manages to be avoided Russia thanks to "society with classical humanistic tradition".

In 2020 the Chinese authorities are going to extend action of a system of social rating to all population.[6]

Censorship (control) on the Internet. Experience of China

Main article: Censorship (control) on the Internet. Experience of China