Social Credits

There is an episode of Black Mirror where everyone is measured by their social media likability score. If you ever get angry or express dismay towards a stranger then your score can fall and suddenly you won’t be provided with corporate discounts or common social courtesies.

China is implementing almost exactly that system and it will be finished next year. At that point, (for example) your score will improve if you complement President Xi on Instagram and your score will drop if you say – jay-walk. This is where hi-tech meets totalitarianism a la 1984.

What you may not know is that they are also implementing a corporate credit system as well. If a company gets caught cheating on its taxes then its score will decline. If it finds a way to export its goods to the US then its score will go up. I presume the government can reward a company by supplying it with cheap or free electricity or cheap bank loans.

US companies doing business will also get scores as will Chinese companies operating in the US. It is therefore easy to see how a US company’s behavior will be affected by what the Chinese government’s rating system says!

I’ve ranted for years about how we should disengage from trade with China since they are trade criminals plain and simple. Do we need another reason?

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