In what would outrage the citizens of the Western world, China has adopted the use of a credit score that is more like a life score. Instead of just analyzing a person’s assets, credit history and income, China’s new universal credit score system also takes into consideration a person’s political views, shopping habits and even what his or her friends think.
China’s new scoring system was introduced earlier this year and currently remains voluntary. However, by 2020, that system will become mandatory for every Chinese citizen.
An individual’s score can range from 350 to 950 and is possible to track with a free Sesame Credit app available from Alibaba. The score is linked to a national ID card.
Presently, all social networks in China are operated by Alibaba or Tencent. Because it is China, the government has access to everyone’s social data. It tracks that data and modifies “credit” scores based on the information. These two companies are also responsible for keeping people’s data current. A person’s financial situation plays an important part in determining his or her score, but so does much more.
If a you post a political opinion that the Chinese government does not particularly appreciate, it will negatively affect your score. If you mention a topic that the government really does not like, your score will go down even further.
If that is not bad enough, your score can decline based upon the statements your friends post online. Since all of your data and list of friends is tracked through social media, their negative political views will affect their own score as well as yours. By using this data to affect scores, it is clear the government wants you to keep your friends in line.
Additionally, the Chinese government will evaluate other life choices when calculating your credit score. If you buy healthy foods and have healthy habits, your score will increase. If you buy unhealthy foods and play lots of video games, your score will be negatively impacted.
Despite the seemingly outrageous system, many Chinese citizens are embracing the program with over 100,000 people voluntarily participating.