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The Bureaucratic Reality of China’s Orwellian Social Credit System

Plenty has been written about China’s efforts to create a social credit system, supposed to use big data to monitor citizen’s behavior. But Bloomberg’s on-the-ground look at how one city is rolling out this program shows  there may be less than meets the eye.

The scoring system for the residents of Suzhou, an affluent city of picturesque canals, is supposed to give people who get higher scores access to perks like better healthcare. But hardly anyone in the city had heard of the program, the report said, even though it had won national awards.

Bureaucratic infighting among different government departments reluctant to share their data weakened the app’s utility. Still, some parts work, such as a blacklist for people who fail to pay back loans. 

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