Thought getting into an NZ school was hard? China's taking it to the next level

By 2020, China’s new ‘social credit system’ will determine where kids can go to school.
By 2020, China’s new ‘social credit system’ will determine where kids can go to school. Photo credit: AAP

Getting into a decent school in China is going to get tricky. By 2020, China's new 'social credit system' will determine where kids can go to school. 

To control China's 1.4 billion people, the government has developed a system to monitor behaviour that harnesses state-run facial recognition, artificial intelligence, smart glasses and other technologies to give citizens a social credit score.

Details of the strategy were published by the State Council of China in 2014. In the West, the system has been compared to Black Mirror episode 'Nosedive', which depicts a society where everything a person does can be rated by others using their smartphones.

The Chinese government is pitching the system as a necessary means of measuring and enhancing "trust" nationwide and building a culture of "sincerity".  Credit scores encompass everything an individual shares on social media, their lifestyle habits, hobbies and purchases made online. 

The system has raised concerns about equality. 

A private high school in Changle County, Shandong Province, recently updated its school policy to reflect the new system, according to state-run newspaper The Paper. The school says it will no longer enrol students whose parents have low social credit scores. 

"Regarding people who have serious trust-breaking behaviour, privately operated schools must limit their children's ability to attend high-tuition private schools, to practically carry out the responsibility of disciplining people with bad credit," the school said. 

The child of Chinese journalist Liu Hu will be unable to attend a private school after Hu was recently added to the government’s list of untrustworthy people.
The child of Chinese journalist Liu Hu will be unable to attend a private school after Hu was recently added to the government’s list of untrustworthy people. Photo credit: Supplied

Chinese journalist Liu Hu's child will be unable to attend a private school after Hu was recently added to the government's list of untrustworthy people, CBS reported. Hu was asked to apologise for a series of tweets he wrote and was then told his apology was insincere. 

Receiving a low credit score could be influenced by anything from making derogatory comments about the government, to discussing events that the government doesn't want discussed, or even having hobbies and making purchases that the government doesn't approve of. 

Chinese citizens with a high social credit score will be able to receive benefits including access to travel visas, as well as personal and business loans, reports Bernard Marr for Data Informed. Those with low social credit scores won't have life so easy and are likely to become "social pariahs", he says. 

It's believed that community service and purchasing Chinese-made products can raise your score, CBS reports. Fraud, tax evasion and smoking in non-smoking areas can drop it. 

Newshub.