by Claire Che/David Ramli/Dandan Li, BloombergJanuary 2019

China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

The capital city will pool data from several departments to reward and punish some 22 million citizens based on their actions and reputations by the end of 2020, according to a plan posted on the Beijing municipal government’s website on Monday. Those with better so-called social credit will get “green channel” benefits while those who violate laws will find life more difficult.

The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be “unable to move even a single step,” according to the government’s plan. Xinhua reported on the proposal Tuesday, while the report posted on the municipal government’s website is dated July 18.

Critics say such moves are fraught with risks and could lead to systems that reduce humans to little more than a report card. Click To Tweet
Authoritarians will trust their leaders no matter what they say, and distrust whomever the leader says to distrust. They are highly fearful of the world at-large around them.

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