Facts About China’s Social Credit Score System

Analysis

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publicerad 30 april 2024
- News@NewsVoice
China's credit score system. Photo: Sham-Shui-Po, CCBYNCSA 2.0. Montage: NewsVoice
China's Social Credit Score System. Montage: NewsVoice

“Western governments and the Western media have deliberately lied about China operating a central social credit score system driven by political and ideological criteria”, says Brian Berletic. The same Western sources admit upon further examination that this is a myth, that no such system exists. However, Berletic explains that China has different and unrelated credit score systems.

Analysis by Brian Berletic, an independent American geopolitical analyst based in Thailand. Summary by T. Sassersson, NewsVoice

Brian Berletic, who runs the channel The New Atlas, says that he is getting many comments about the Chinese credit score system that supposedly the Communist Party of China (CPC, not CCP) is using to control everyone in a dystopian sci-fi-style nightmare of society. However, he says this system does not exist, at least not in that intimidating manner. Instead, the different credit score systems are reasonable and work well in China.

Brian Berletic breaks down the myth stemming from Western media.

As an example of misleading information, Berletic mentions the article “China’s ‘social credit’ system ranks citizens and punishes them with throttled internet speeds and flight bans if the Communist Party deems them untrustworthy” in Business Insider (initially known as Silicon Alley Insider).

However, the article itself reveals the headline to be untrue. Most people only have time to read headlines, so headlines like this will stick in their minds as truths.

There are a multitude of social scoring systems

However, this social and moral scoring system—centrally controlled by a CPC—does not exist. Different companies, organisations, and authorities own multiple voluntary score systems, and some of them may be mandatory in the future. We don’t know yet.

The different systems score behaviours deemed offences in most countries worldwide, so evaluating bad behaviours—i.e., breaking laws—is not specific to China but to all countries with laws.

One example is that violent behaviour on public trains may render that person untrustworthy for train travel. Not allowing this person to buy train tickets will create a safer environment for other train travellers until this person is again approved for train travel or something like that.

“In the West, you used to be thrown off and banned from public transportation if you were a constant nuisance or you were endangering other people.”

Another example of undesired behaviour is trying to avoid mandatory military service. In most countries, that means going straight to prison. China has a soft approach to that, preventing this particular person from, for instance, attending higher education instead of prison. In 2017, only seventeen people were obstructed from certain civil liberties for refusing mandatory military service, according to Beijing News, in a country of 1.4 billion people.

“This idea that there is a compulsory, centralized draconian social scoring system that it exists and is being used by the horrible CCP in Beijing is a lie.”

Brian Berletic on Chinas Social Credit Score System
Brian Berletic. Photo: own work

“The lie: The CCP has been constructing a moral ranking system for years that will monitor the behaviour of its enormous population and rank them all based on their social credit.”

Brian Berletic points out that Western media outlets refer to each other, all hammering out the same message through different channels, creating this picture of a dictatorship hell-bent on controlling and punishing its citizens.

Also, some people then “teach” others in the comment section “the truth about China”, a distorted image of a social credit system that does not exist in that way.

According to the South China Morning Post, China’s economic planning team, the National Development and Reform Commission, the People’s Bank of China, and the Chinese court system decide the Current Rankings.

Berletic:

“So this article is citing other Western articles that when you go through them, they are also doing the exact same thing. They are blatantly lying to you, but also in the text of their articles telling you the truth that this is not what they’re portraying it as at first.”

China’s Social Credit Score Systems are developing

The article in Business Insider discusses private credit scores and how a person’s social score can move up and down depending on their behaviour, such as bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games, and posting fake news online, specifically about terrorist attacks or airport security.

“This is illegal and can get you in serious trouble anywhere in the world. This is not the Communist Party trying to see if you’re untrustworthy or not. These are real offences anywhere you go in the world.”

China is doing something that every other country has always done. And they’re simply using technology to keep track of it all because they have over a billion people stretched across one of the largest countries in the world by land area, Berletic says.

When we drive cars, we should always stop in front of crosswalks. If we don’t stop, we will lose credit points, but we should not just worry about losing points. We all should think about public safety and not endanger people’s lives. So, a point system encourages people not to endanger other people’s lives. It has nothing to do with the Communist Party of China.

Berletic:

“This is common sense, and the Business Insider is deliberately lying to you, trying to spin it as something sinister, which is something the Western media does about all nations the U.S. targets around the world.”

Institutes such as The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) are among the most persistent corporate and government-funded think tanks pushing out negative propaganda about China and Business Insider uses ASPI as a source.

ASPI’s sponsors are Naval Group, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, the Australian government here, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and The US State Department.

Related: ASPI sponsors collect billions from Defence

Berletic:

“They have marked China for regime change, for undermining it, dividing, destroying it, and preventing it from surpassing the West. In order to do this, to get the population on board with what essentially is going to be a war, either by proxy or directly, and also a lot of uncomfortable economic measures taken before him to get the public on board with this, they need to convince the public that China is a threat.”

Berletic says publications like Business Insider, Wired, The Guardian, and the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post take turns repeating these lies.

 

Summary of China’s Social Credit Score System: Torbjorn Sassersson, NewsVoice.se

Read more about China in NewsVoice


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