Welcome to this week’s edition of the News Summary at China’s Social Credit System – A Collection of Documents blog. As part of the joint project launched by the Coalition for Peace and Ethics and the Foundation for Law and International Affairs, this post brings you the three most important developments in the social credit system that occurred from 31st July to 7th August 2017.
As reported by the Gansu Economic Information Network, last week the National Development Reform Commission held a seminar on the “Four Platforms”, or the four databases aggregating data on investment projects enterprises, physical persons and much more. (More information about the Four Platforms is available in an academic article I published already a few years ago, here). During the seminar, Commission officials illustrated the three main functionalities of existing databases: collecting, sharing, and exchanging credit information; querying credit dossiers of physical and legal persons, social organizations, etc.; providing information on misconduct, misdemeanors, criminal offences or the lack thereof, and thus allowing either the punishment or the reward of legal and physical persons. At the moment, these information platforms allow to share information items, as well as the information records collected by government departments. According to the Gansu Economic Information Network, the total catalogue of information to be collected by departments and local governments includes 3,999 information items. [read more here]
According to the People’s Daily, on August 6th the Hebei Provincial Government held a press conference to publicize the entry into force of the ‘Implementing Opinion on Strengthening Construction of an Individual Integrity System’ (here, in Chinese) and the ‘Implementing Opinion on Strengthening Construction of a System of Integrity in Administrative Affairs’ (here, in Chinese). According to the press conference, citizen identification card number will provide the basis for the unique social credit number. To this end, Hebei province has started collecting citizens’ fingerprints, to complete the construction of the unified social credit number database. Both opinions were issued in late July, and they make provisions on standardizing information collection and use; on accelerating and eventually completing the construction of information databases on enterprises, as well as on individuals; on connecting provincial information databases to the national data infrastructure on social credit [read more here]
On August 1st, the Ministry of Transportation and ten other ministries issued the ‘Guiding Opinion on Encouraging and Regulating Development of Bicycle Rentals Through the Internet‘. The document contains a set of 16 different measures to promote the development of this sector of the sharing economy, and it is coherent with measures adopted earlier this year (see here, in English). On August 3rd, spokepersons of the Ministry provided an explanation of the rationale of the ‘Guiding Opinion’. Reporting their words, the People’s Daily wrote how bike sharing can ease urban transportation on short distances, and therefore this kind of service is to be encouraged and promoted. However, at the moment this sector of the sharing economy is still very young, and therefore it displays such problems as unfair competition between enterprises, a still less than optimal protection of the rights and interests of users of this service, failure on the part of enterprises to fulfil their responsibilities, and other issues addressed by the ‘Guiding Opinion’. [read more here]