A man waves the Chinese national flag as well as an amateur choir performs in a park in a residential area in Beijing, China on February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter – RTS10PYV
China’s emerging dictatorship is soon to enter social scorecards, which all citizens will be monitored 24/7 and ranked on their behavior.
The Communist y has a plan for each of the 1.4 billion citizens to be at the whim of a dystopian social credit system, and it is on track to be fully operational by the year 2020.
An active pilot program already has millions of people each assigned to a score of 800 and reap the benefits or suffer the consequences — depending on which side of the scale.
Under the social credit scheme, the points are lost and gained, based on the measurement of a sophisticated network of 200 million surveillance cameras — a figure set to triple in 18 months.
The program has been enabled by the rapid advances in face recognition, body scanning and geo-tracking.
The information is combined with information collected from persons’ of the government records — including medical and educational, together with their financial and internet browsing history. The overall scores can go up and down in “real-time” depending on the person, the behavior, but they can also be influenced by the people with whom they interact.
“If your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government, you lose points,” the ABC reports.
The mandatory “social credit” system was announced for the first time in 2014 in an attempt to reinforce the idea that “keeping trust is very good, and the breaking of trust, is a disgrace”, says a government document.
In a Foreign Correspondent episode, to air on the ABC tonight, financial credit system, Alipay, Tianjin general manager Jie Cong, the system in black and white.
“If people keep their promises, they can go anywhere in the world,” he said. “If people break their promises that they can’t move!”
Under the system, which are considered to be the “top citizens” will be rewarded bonus points.
The benefits of being ranked on the higher end of the scale are apart of deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discount loans, priority applications and fast-tracking at the most prestigious universities.
Dandan, a young mother and marketing professional, is proud of her high score. If she loves her son will be more likely to get into a top school.
“China likes to experiment in this creative way … I think that the people in each country want a stable and safe society,” she said.
“We have a social credit system. We hope that We can help each other, love each other, and help everyone become prosperous.”
THE BOTTOM OF THE SCALE
But it doesn’t take much to end up on the wrong side of the scale with an estimated 10 million people are already paying the price of a low rating.
Jaywalking, late payments on invoices and / or taxes, buying too much alcohol, or to speak out against the government for any costs the citizen points.
Other suggested offences include spending too long playing computer games, wasting money on frivolous purchases and to post on social media, according to Business Insider.
Penalties range from loss of the right to travel by plane or train, social media account will be blocked and excluded from government jobs.
Chinese journalist Liu Hu is one of the millions who have already amassed a low social credit rating. Liu Hu was arrested, jailed and fined after he exposed official corruption.
“The government regards me as an enemy,” Liu Hu told the ABC.
He is now banned from traveling by plane or fast train. His social media accounts with millions of followers, have been suspended. He struggles to find work.
“This kind of social control is against the current of the world. The Chinese people’s eyes are blinded, and their ears are blocked. They know little about the world and life in an illusion.” Liu Hu said.
Seventeen people who refused to perform military service, were last year excluded from enrollment in higher education, applying for the high school, or the continuation of their studies, the Beijing News reported.
Uighur poet and filmmaker, Tahir Hamut, who fled to the U.S., told the ABC that China’s system of supervision “suddenly rises after the end of 2016”.
“Since then, advanced surveillance technology that we have never seen, never experienced, never heard of it, started to appear,” he said.
This story was previously published in the news.com.au.