A dystopian future isn’t on the horizon, it’s here. In China, a Social Credit System (SCS) is being implemented to rate the trustworthiness of citizens. Very soon, citizens with a low score will be prohibited from traveling via train or plane up to one year.
According to two statements, issued on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website, individuals who have spread false information about terrorism, caused trouble on flights, used expired tickets, or smoked on trains will be placed on the restricted list.
Additionally, those who have committed financial wrongdoings, such as failing to pay social insurance or reusing to pay fines, will also be barred from traveling either by plane or train.
The statements were released on March 2, 2018. Reportedly, the rules will come into effect on May 1, 2018.
The SCS, supported by President’s Xi Jingping, is based on the principle of “once untrustworthy, always restricted.” Although a person’s character may change over time, their status in a society that operates through a Social Credit System will not. This may prove problematic to the growing population of 1.379 billion.
Surprisingly, there are signs that a SCS has already been implemented. In early 2017, China’s Supreme People’s Court said during a press conference that 6.15 million Chinese citizens had been prohibited from taking flights for “social misdeeds.”
As time progresses, citizens can expect harsher repercussions for poor scores. According to the State Council General Office’s policy, entitled “Warning and Punishment Mechanisms for Persons Subject to Enforcement for Trust-Breaking,” updated in September of 2016, penalties for a low score will become “mandatory” in 2020.
As Truth Theory previously reported, citizens with low ratings can expect slower internet speeds, restricted access to restaurants, nightclubs or golf courses, and restrictions on traveling abroad. Low scores will also influence rental applications, as well as the ability to get a loan or even social-security benefits.
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Source: Thomas Reuters Foundation
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