The Chinese social trust system is increasingly interfering with the lives of citizens

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The Chinese social trust system is a specific structure that allows assessing the behavior of citizens, which has an impact, among others on their creditworthiness. We are talking not only about financial activities, i.e. purchases or repayment of loans, but actual behaviors, such as social media activities, regular or non-payment of bills, eating on the subway (unacceptable), or crossing the street in a prohibited place.

In 2015, the People's Bank of China approved eight companies to develop private credit assessment systems based on collected user data. The most famous is Zhima Credit developed by a company belonging to the Alibaba holding company. Systems for assessing financial credibility are combined with various types of city surveillance systems and blacklists kept by various Chinese institutions. It is not a uniform system, but there is no doubt that the Chinese are constantly under observation and its results affect virtually every aspect of life.

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Depending on the region, the rules and repercussions regarding non-compliance or, e.g., loan defaults may be different. Recently, in the Chinese city of Jiangsu, city authorities have introduced a regulation: "New rules in Jiangsu: home rentals without registration information will be included in your credit history." Each owner of a rented property has seven days to report this fact to the appropriate authorities. Exceeding the time limit will cause an appropriate annotation in the social trust system.

On November 19, Beijing included in the credit system information about families violating the provisions on communal housing, e.g. subletting or unacceptable renovation. The housing administration department will not only impose administrative penalties on such people, but will also enter this information into the credit information system of the People's Bank of China.

The Chinese National Health Commission has gone even further, which wants local governments to introduce information about blood donors into their public trust systems (remember that this is not a uniform system for all of China). It is to be a mechanism encouraging free donation of blood. This information is to provide blood donors with preferential treatment through public facilities.

This last information has caused discussion in China on how far credit systems can interfere with citizens' lives. It is not so, therefore, that the Chinese people unreasonably accept government ideas.

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