I am not ashamed to admit that I – as a fully-grown man – have no idea how a credit score is calculated in the United States.
My understanding starts and ends with the notion that it’s bad to miss payments and that you should NEVER do one of those pay-day loans (unless the new Madden is coming out and you really want it).
Despite the stunted nature of my financial understanding; I am reasonably sure that my political opinions and view of United States history have nothing to do with the credit score I am afforded.
The same, however, can no longer be said for China.
According to a report this weekend from free-internet advocacy blog, Privacy Online News.
“China just introduced a universal credit score, where everybody is measured as a number between 350 and 950. But this credit score isn’t just affected by how well you manage credit – it also reflects how well your political opinions are in line with Chinese official opinions, and whether your friends’ are, too.”
According to the site, “This Chinese credit score, which seemed innocent at first, was introduced this summer. More precisely, it was introduced by Alibaba and Tencent, China’s IT giants who run the Chinese equivalents of all social networks, and who therefore have any and all data about you.”
These titans of the tech world in China are using these massive data pools to add the social media musings of Chinese citizens as an aggregate factor for their credit score.
Again according to the Privacy Internet News story:
“Things that will make your score deteriorate include posting political opinions without prior permission, talking about or describing a different history than the official one, or even publishing accurate up-to-date news from the Shanghai stock market collapse (which was and is embarrassing to the Chinese regime).”
In addition to this, the story also tells us that the opinions and postings of one’s friends and connections online will also be used to lower their score should the posts be found unappealing to the Chinese government.
Chinese citizens can check their new credit score by downloading an application called Sesame Credit. The scores have become something of a public joke in China and have been referred to colloquially as a “Citizen Score.”
But the joke may not be funny for very much longer.
As of now this new credit score is merely an optional score that Chinese financial institutions may or may not take advantage of. However, the Chinese government has already announced that this – or something very much like this – will become the enforced standard as early as 2020.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments how you would feel if something like this was ever enacted in the US. Or, perhaps, you feel it already has.