BEIJING — Beijing plans to launch its Social Credit System nationwide by 2020 to rate the trustworthiness of 1.3 billion people by assigning each individual a score.
The goal of the program is to “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,” according to the Chinese government, Wired reported.
Participation currently remains voluntary, but by 2020, it will be mandatory.
The Chinese Communist Party has given out eight licenses to private companies to develop systems and algorithms for a social credit score system.
The two biggest projects are run by China Rapid Finance and Sesame Credit.
Sesame Credit, for example, gives individuals a score between 350 and 950 points based on a private algorithm calculated from five factors: credit history, contract obligation fulfillment, personal characteristics, behavior and preferences and interpersonal relationships.
Once the system becomes mandatory, people with low scores could be punished with slower internet speeds, be denied access to certain restaurants, night clubs or golf courses and restricted from traveling.
Scores will also affect an individual’s rental applications, ability to secure insurance or a loan, as well as social security benefits.
Citizens with low scores will be forbidden from certain jobs and from applying to better schools.
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