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China's social credit 'citizen rating' system will not be implemented in Hong Kong, minister says

Published: July 10, 2019
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A top Hong Kong government official has said that mainland China’s social credit system will not be implemented in the city.

Under the social credit system, Chinese citizens are rated with a social score in some regions. Those who fail to pay debts or taxes, fundraise illegally, participate in fraud, or violate traffic regulations may receive punishments such as being barred from buying public transport tickets or booking hotel rooms.

Last Friday, the Guangdong Province government issued a three-year action plan – spanning from 2018 to 2020 – to push forward the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area integration proposal. Section 75 said that the establishment of a social credit system should be sped up in the region.

When Taiwanese media Liberty Times reported the plan on Monday, the newspaper claimed that the social credit system would be implemented in Hong Kong by 2020.

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China isn’t the only country with a draconian “social credit score” system — there’s one quite a bit like it operating in the U.S. Except that it’s being run by American businesses, not the government. There’s plenty of evidence that retailers have been using a technique called “surveillance scoring” for decades in which consumers are given a secret score by an algorithm to give them a different price — but for the same goods and services.

Imagine calling a friend. Only instead of hearing a ring tone you hear a police siren, and then a voice intoning, “Be careful in your dealings with this person.” Would that put a damper on your relationship? It’s supposed to. Welcome to life in China’s “Social Credit System,” where a low score can ruin your life in more ways than one.

Australia is preparing to debut its version of the Chinese regime’s high-tech system for monitoring and controlling its citizens. The launch, to take place in the northern city of Darwin, will include systems to monitor people’s activity via their cell phones. The new system is based on monitoring programs in Shenzhen, China, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is testing its Social Credit System. Officials on the Darwin council traveled to Shenzhen, according to NT News, to “have a chance to see exactly how their Smart Technology works prior to being fully rolled out.”

The common slogan in China is: “whoever violates the rules somewhereshall be restricted everywhere.” Punishment is already happening on a broad scale. Chinese authorities have already banned more than 10 million people deemed “untrustworthy” from boarding flights and high-speed trains. It’s actually really easy to watch your SCS drop. Hang out with someone with a low score, and your own will go down.

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