Toward A Reputation State: A Comprehensive View of China’s Social Credit System Project

China’s Social Credit System Project (the “SCSP”) is one of the most misunderstood recent developments in China’s law and policy. In the book “Social Credit Rating“, Xin Dai offers a comprehensive conceptual thesis that explains the SCSP as the Chinese government’s multi-faceted strategy to use reputation in law and governance.

The SCSP envisions that reputation mechanisms such as blacklisting, rating, and scoring be used to tackle a range of the country’s intractable governance problems in its social and economic realms. “While knowing no apparent equivalent elsewhere in the world,” Xin Dai points out, “the SCSP portends the rise of the “reputation state” on a wider scale, as government authorities outside of China will also increasingly seek to use reputation mechanisms and technologies in the spheres of law and governance. And as it both raises high hopes and stokes grave fears, the SCSP has so far been shaped and limited by the institutional and market forces that animate it in the first place.”

Xin Dai is associate professor (tenured) at Peking University Law School. His primary areas of research interests include legal theories, law and economics, information privacy, internet law, and digital governance. He received his LL.B from Peking University, J.D from Duke University, and J.S.D from the University of Chicago. Xin practiced corporate and securities laws with Shearman & Sterling’s New York and Hong Kong offices, and taught previously at Ocean University of China Law School where he served as an associate dean.

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