Generation Gap: On China's Emerging Social Credit System

By Yuka Hayashi, March 25, 2019

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'Generation Gap' is a monthly series where we talk to two Beijingers from two different generations about a random topic. This time we ask Xia, 49 and Zhang, 22 their opinions about China's emerging social credit system.


What do you think of China’s emerging social credit system and the potential implementation of punishments like travel bans?

Xia, 49 

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"My credits are high, so it gets people like me excited because it gives us a sense of achievement and honor. It feels kind of like being rewarded if your credits are higher. It makes you feel special. I think it’s a reasonable system. It definitely motivates us to behave in a more socially responsible way, since things like our plane tickets are at stake! Did you know that you don’t have to pay a deposit when you book hotels if your credits are high enough? My friend just told me about it. I hope one day I can reach that level.”     

Zhang, 22

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“I know that I have a social credit score but I never really thought about it or checked it myself. Honestly, on a personal level, I never really cared about it. However, as for our society, I think it’s a wise way to avoid financial and social issues. With the rapid development of technology and easy access to information, credibility becomes increasingly crucial. In this new era, the system is quite efficient. And I guess it’s an acceptable way of measuring our social credibility. As for those who can’t book or purchase flights and train rides, I think there are reasons why they can’t. They must’ve crossed the limit and to some extent, they might deserve that. But of course, I hope everyone scores high on this system, because I bet not being able to travel freely must feel suffocating.” 

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