China’s Social Credit System

The Social Credit System (SCS) is perhaps the most prominent manifestation of the Chinese government’s intention to reinforce legal, regulatory and policy processes through the application of information technology, writes Rogier Creemers, Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden University. Yet its organizational specifics have not yet received academic scrutiny. He published a paper which identifies the objectives, perspectives and mechanisms through which the Chinese government has sought to realise its vision of “social credit”.

Reviewing the system’s historical evolution, institutional structure, central and local implementation, and relationship with the private sector, he describes the SCS as an ecosystem of initiatives broadly sharing a similar underlying logic, than a fully unified and integrated machine for social control. With regards to big data and artificial intelligence notwithstanding, he sees the SCS as a relatively crude tool.

See his video or read his paper here.

For more historic background information: Oliver Everling, Yan Yin and Yusi Ding (Herausgeber, Associate Chief Editor, Domestic and Foreign Credit Theory Studies and Standardization Practices, Technical Book Series on Standardization of Social Credit in China, Chen, Yuzhong, und Qian, Yumin (Chief Editor), compiled by National Technical Working Group on Credit of Standardization Administration of China (, China Metrology Publishing House, Beijing, 1. Auflage, August 2010, 420 Seiten, ISBN 978-7-5026-3332-5.

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