The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. Many recent news reports have looked into exactly what this means for the inhabitants of China and whether it is a force for good or bad.

The scoring of this system is fundamentally wrapped up in the increasing technological world that China has come to represent.

The online website ‘Wired’ has explained that ‘The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance “trust” nationwide and to build a culture of “sincerity”. As the policy states, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

The result of this social credit system and the rating an individual is given could then be used by employers to decide whether to offer you a job, by banks to decide whether to give you a loan, or even by prospective partners.

However, many other news outlets have argued that this is draconian and poses a threat due to being far too pervasive into individual liberties. Students that are hoping to study HSPS may want to look into the tension and judgement shown by western news outlets on their opinion into these changes within Chinese society. Furthermore, are these comments truly reflective or understanding of Chinese society and showing it in a truly holistic picture, or merely placing western views onto the new system?

Students hoping to study Sociology or Computer Science may want to think more closely about the potential effects, risks and potential power that technology can have in the 21st Century world. China has shown control over what its citizens see (with the banning of sites like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter) and also know is using forms of technology to track and monitor citizens thoughts and movements.

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