For those whose grade school report cards were the bane of your existence, it's a good thing you're not a Chinese national. The country is nearing delivery of its personalized rating for each of its 1.3b residents – part of a lifelong points program based on social data and financial behavior.
So just how has China undertaken this huge endeavor and what are the financial implications for those who come in at the bottom of the class?
The very Big Brother “social credit” system will be based on a wealth of data collected and analyzed from both private enterprises and public institutions, including social network company Tencent and ecommerce giant Alibaba. By 2020, every Chinese citizen will be ranked and judged versus others whether they like it or not – and something as innocuous as a person’s shopping habits can become a measure of character in the system.
Unfortunately for those whose report cards come in less than stellar, financial life is likely to get much more difficult. From taking out a mortgage, online loan, or booking plane tickets online, low-ranked citizens may find themselves overtly blocked or enjoying a much less streamlined process.
Without a doubt, there are many problems with reducing humans to nothing more than a report card. We hope that Beijing remembers that people can change!
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Adult Report Cards
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