Coming here, China’s new tool for social control?

In China, Political governance on 14/05/2017 at 1:54 pm

While our ang moh tua kees are KPKBing about hanging drug mules, detention without trial , LGBT rights and other ang moh preoccupations, they are missing something that will soon come here.

Beijing wants to give every citizen a credit rating for everything.  Citizens’ ratings are to be linked with their identity-card numbers. The rating will be based on behaviour such as spending habits, turnstile violations, filial piety and “assembling to disrupt social order”. These scores can be used to blacklist citizens from loans, jobs and air travel.

It’s experimenting with

a “social-credit system” (see article). It says the idea is to harness digitally stored information to chivvy everyone into behaving more honestly, whether fly-by-night companies or tax- and fine-dodging individuals. … But the government also talks about this as a tool of “social management”: ie, controlling individuals’ behaviour. This is a regime that already tries to police how often people visit their parents. How much further could it go? Citizens’ ratings are to be linked with their identity-card numbers. Many fear that bad scores might result in sanctions, such as being denied a bank loan or permission to buy a railway ticket, even for political reasons. They have reason to worry. The government decreed this year that the system should record such vaguely defined sins as “assembling to disrupt social order”.


Already about 30 cities are experimenting with this system (Let a hundred flowers bloom?) and providing feed back to Beijing.

I sure that the PAP administration is monitoring developments closely with a view to making this “social-credit system” part of the smart city. programme.

After all the PAP administration has traditions of coercion and paternalism. It feels that it has a right to intrude on citizens’ lives. Even TLCs think they have the right. In the early days of the internet here (circa 2000) SingTel was “testing” customers’ security.

Public resentment has made no difference to Chinese and S’porean attempts to control dissent, Hard Truths say must crack down. 

In China The routine succession of threats any government faces is more likely to lead to oppression than to a free, informed debate or a decision that the state should forsake the digital tools available.

Likewise here.

When “social credit” comes here, it will be a shock to the S’porean apers of the West.

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