Beyond "Digital Big Brother": Five things to understand about China's Social Scoring System

Super-Scoring? Data-driven societal technologies in China and Western-style democracies as a new challenge for education

von: Mareike Ohlberg (Mercator Institute for China Studies, MERICS, Berlin)

In her talk Ohlberg analyses the current state of China's social credit system by neither trivializing nor dramatizing it. In her opinion, the social credit system is "a highly effective tool helping to enforce the Chinese code of law" but implementing the system as a whole will take at least until 2020.

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In her talk Ohlberg provides a realistic account of the Chinese social scoring system "without depicting something that does not exist and without trivializing anything.” She criticizes both: the dystopic coverage in German media and the consistently positive coverage in China.

Ohlberg explains the ulterior motives behind the creation of the system, which was partly inspired by the German Schufa, as well as current implementation measures, like the motivation of authorities to pass on data or a black list system. However, cameras with multiple face recognition are currently not suitable for the mass.

  1. It is presented as a "cure-all" for China‘s problems
  2. It is not one single, centralized system, but a policy framework
  3. The system is still under construction
  4. It is not all about scoring
  5. Social credit is just one piece of the "surveillance puzzle"
In summary, she describes the social scoring system as "an instrument to effectively enforce all existing Chinese laws". A uniform model according to Ohlberg will not exist by 2020.

Weitere Informationen

  • Produktion: 11.10.2019

  • Spieldauer: 00:20:19

  • hrsg. von: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb

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Dieser Text und Medieninhalt sind unter der Creative Commons Lizenz "CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International" veröffentlicht. Autor/-in: MERICS Mareike Ohlberg (Mercator Institute for China Studies für bpb.de

Sie dürfen den Text unter Nennung der Lizenz CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 und des/der Autors/-in teilen.


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