China is ranking citizens with a creepy 'social credit' system

China is ranking citizens with a creepy 'social credit' system

China is setting up a ranking system which will monitor the behaviour of its 1.379 billion person population, and judge them all based on their "social credit".

According to a government document, the "social credit system," which was first announced in 2014, is designed to enforce the belief that "keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful."

An individual's social score can fluctuate depending on their behaviour. While the exact methodology behind the scores is unknown, examples of infractions include buying too many video games, posting fake news, bad driving and smoking non-smoking zones.

And if your social score doesn't make the cut, here are five of the ways the state can humiliate and punish you...

1. Stopping you from flying or taking the train 

China has already started punishing their citizens by restricting travel. Nine million people with low scores have purportedly been blocked from buying tickets for domestic flights, according to Channel News Asia.

2. Banning your kids from the better schools

17 people who refused to carry out military service last year were prohibited from enrolling in higher education, starting applications for high school, or continuing their studies at all, Beijing News reported.

Individuals with low credit score would also be banned from enrolling their children at high-paying private schools. However, it's not clear whether this policy has been put into place yet.

3. Stopping their citizens from getting top jobs 

"Trust breaking" individuals would be prevented from doing management jobs in state-owned firms and large banks. "Trust breaking" crimes would include crimes such as fraud and embezzlement.

4. Keeping people out of five star hotels 

Those who refused military service were also prohibited from certain holiday destinations and hotels. However, people with good scores can speed up their travel applications to places including Europe.

In fact, back in 2015, an unidentified woman told the BBC that she was able to book a hotel without needing to pay a cash deposit due to her social score.

5. Being publicly named as a "bad" citizen 

A 2016 government notice encouraged companies to consult the national blacklist before hiring people or providing them with contracts. People who are on the blacklist are informed by the courts before they are added to the list, and can appeal the ruling within ten days of receiving the notice.

Well, it seems like Black Mirror really is becoming a reality...

In related news, Muslims in China have been forced to drink alcohol and eat pork in detention camps...