It was reported not too long ago that China plans on implementing a social credit system for its citizens. This will basically assign citizens a “score” based on their life, where if you have run-ins with the law, or are known to break the rules, spread misinformation online, and so on, your scores will be reflected as much.
Now according to a report from China Daily (via TNW), North China’s Hebei province plans on putting that system into action, albeit on a smaller scale where through an app, it will be able to highlight debtors around the user based on WeChat. The goal is to shame people around you who have yet to pay their debts, presumably in hopes that to avoid being shamed, they will try to pay off their debts as quickly as possible.
In addition to displaying debtors, it will also show the debtors’ personal information including their names, national ID numbers, and the reason why they are on the list in the first place. While we do not disagree that debts need to be repaid, we’re not sure if going about it this way is such a good idea.
For example for all we know, it could lead to a mob mentality where people start “hunting” down people who are in debt and haven’t paid them off for whatever reason. It also sounds like an incredible invasion of one’s privacy. However according to Jamie Horsley who writes for the Foreign Policy, its concept and how it’s actually being implemented seem to be two very different stories.