Beijing Debuts Plan to Monitor Behavior of Every Resident by End of 2020

Chinese authorities are facing an unlikely challenge spawned from their own efforts to indoctrinate the population with the ideology of the party: young Marxists
AFP/GREG BAKER

Beijing announced an “action plan” this week for monitoring residents’ behavior, adding that the city expects to have its social credit system fully implemented by the end of 2020.

Beijing plans to reward and punish its residents based on data that will be collected from various departments monitoring citizens’ social behavior, according to a detailed “action plan” posted on Monday to the city’s municipal website.

By the beginning of 2020, the announcement declares, China’s capital city will have all residents officially locked into the permanent surveillance program, part of a broader effort to have every Chinese citizen rated on a “social credit system” decreeing what public services a person can use based on their obedience to laws and loyalty to the communist regime.

The government will use the data collected to assess citizens’ behavior to decide if an individual is law-abiding and “trustworthy” to the Communist Party.

Residents who behave properly in the eyes of the Chinese government will receive high credit scores, while residents who misbehave will receive low scores, causing them to lead more difficult lives.

“Efforts will be made to build a market supervision mechanism with corporate credit as the core,” states Beijing’s municipal website, adding that it will explore the implementation of what it calls “the personal integrity project,” which will utilize residents’ credit scores for “market access, public services, tourism,” and “fields such as entrepreneurship and job hunting.”

Higher scores can also open the “green channel,” which will expedite residents’ applications for higher quality “education and medical resources.”

“Those who violate the law and lose trust will pay a heavy price,” adds the government website, stating that it will “improve the blacklist system” and that residents will find themselves “limited everywhere, and difficult to move” if they are deemed untrustworthy by the Communists in control.

Last month, the Chinese government removed 10,000 social media accounts belonging to its citizens.

The government abolished the accounts – amid reports of Google aiding China’s censorship – in an attempt to silence critics of the Communist Party, accusing citizens of “spreading harmful political information, maliciously tampering with the history of the Communist Party and smearing the reputation of heroes and China.”

“By the end of 2020, the Beijing Municipal Social Credit Regulations will be completed, and the legal system will be used to guide and promote the construction of the credit system,” proclaims Beijing’s municipal website.

China’s government argues that it is necessary to implement the lifelong social credit system across the country, as citizens have been deemed dishonest by the Communist Party.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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