While the 19th Congress of the CCP is less than a month away, a debate tracing the possible future trajectories of social credit has already started, and it is focussing on local legislation.
This far, local legislation on social credit has been adopted by Shanghai Municipality, by Hubei, Hebei, Zhejiang, Shaanxi Province, and Shenzhen. While each one of these pieces of legislation is important in its own respect, the Shanghai social credit regulations play a unique role in driving change in social credit. The first Chinese city to introduce a credit rating system, since 2000 Shanghai has been shaping national trends in social credit.
Comments on the Shanghai social credit regulations – which went into effect yesterday – have been produced by Professor Lin Yu (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences), and published on the latest issue of The Monthly Magazine of Shanghai People’s Congress (Shanghai Renda Yuekan). To enable readers to form an independent opinion on ongoing trends, the full translation of the article is available below. The original article can be found here.
The article provides a window into a little-known domestic debate on social credit. It lets all those with a stake in social credit understand how social credit is on the brink of change.
Change is always dense with possibilities. At the moment, there are signs that “social credit” may be morphing into a more sophisticated policy, designed to govern economic actors through big data management. While it is not possible to predict what shape and direction this process will take, one thing is certain.
Only those with the knowledge and skills needed to read and comprehend the ‘signals’ coming from within China will be able to understand possible future impacts on their activities, and on their rating. Ignoring upcoming changes or dismissing them as meaningless will entail significant risks.