A while ago, Beijing agreed to adopt a points program which would be assigning ratings for every resident. The decision was controversial, to say the least, and it has attracted a lot of negative press ever since.
Even so, Beijing is not backing down and, according to Bloomberg, plans to implement the system by the end of 2020.
The city will be pooling data from various departments in order to reward or punish its 22 million citizens based on both their actions as well as their reputations. Those who will have a good social credit will be receiving all sorts of benefits while those who don’t have a good standing will only have their lives made more difficult.
People who fail to get good credits will be, according to the government, “unable to move even a single step.”
Beijing is not the only city implementing the credit system: earlier this year, Hangzhou rewarded behaviors like volunteer work and blood donations and punished people who, for example, violated traffic laws. By May, people who had accumulated bad credit found themselves unable to book flights or train trips.
The Beijing government plans to have different agencies link databases so they can gain access to more details about how the residents interact across a number of services.
More and more, China is relying on technology to get its residents to make payments, apply for loans and organize transportation. All the accounts require government IDs, so the residents are very easily tracked.
With China implementing more rigorous censored search engines, millions of CCTV cameras and facial recgonition systems, the dystopian future we were only reading about in sci-fi books a few years ago might be closer to becoming a reality than we thought.