China launches new campaign to promote social credit system for youth

China kickstarted Light Up China with Trust (our translation of 诚信点亮中国) campaign tour in Beijing on Thursday, May 10, according to a Xinhua. The campaign aims to educate and raise awareness about the social credit system among the youth. The effort is jointly led by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the People’s Bank of China.

At the launch of “Light Up China with Trust” campaign. (Image Credit: Chinanews.com)

Read more: China’s Social Credit System: AI-driven panopticon or fragmented foundation for a sincerity culture?

Through the “youth credit system” project, the government hopes to engage more young people to build a “high-trust society”. The project is part of the country’s ten-year plan (2016-2025) for youth development released in April and is based on the guidelines to build a database and develop a credit-rating system for young people by 2020. As part of the campaign, contests and events will be held in 300 universities and colleges in 100 cities all over China.

“Dossiers will be created to carry good credit records of trustworthy young individuals, who will be favored or receive incentives when applying for student or startup loans or when looking for a job,” NDRC official Chen Hongwan said at the launching event. Chen added that the credit system serves as a way to incentivize young people to improve their behavior.

China’s eyebrow-raising social credit system was first proposed in 2014 when Beijing announced that it would start using data to monitor its citizens and rank their behaviors—reward those that demonstrate “good” behaviors and punish those with misconducts. The government aims to fully implement the credit system, making it mandatory for all 1.4 billion of Chinese citizens by 2020.