Another good piece by John Harris writing in The Guardian. The truth is, we've had credit scores for a while now - as anyone who remembers buying a property can tell you. It can be a pretty painful process.
But what if there was a social credit score based on your online behaviour? Banks have toyed with this idea for a while. But when governments get involved it becomes much more scary.
What about your taste in music? And clothes? Will the social web become a cluster of fancy night-club style destinations? Don't have the right look? Age? Shoes?
If you're not on the list, you're not coming in. Ah well. There's always Facebook...
Online behaviour will inevitably be a big part of what is monitored, and algorithms will be key to everything, though there remain doubts about whether something so ambitious will ever come to full fruition. One of the scheme’s basic aims is to use a vast amount of data to create individual ratings, which will decide people’s access – or lack of it – to everything from travel to jobs. The Chinese notion of credit – or xinyong – has a cultural meaning that relates to moral ideas of honesty and trust. There are up to 30 local social credit pilots run by local authorities, in huge cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou and much smaller towns. Meanwhile, eight ostensibly private companies have been trialling a different set of rating systems, which seem to chime with the government’s controlling objectives.