A Chinese university student was nearly expelled due to his father’s low “social rating”

    I went to school - I lost several social rating points.

    For several years now, China has been introducing a system of assessing citizens according to their degree of trustworthiness (not necessarily political, we are talking about creditworthiness, violations of public order, etc.). The goal of the government is to create a single social rating for absolutely all citizens. And the life of the Chinese will directly depend on this rating. If the rating is low, they may not give a loan for studies or even not let a suspicious citizen out of the country.

    In 2016 it was reportedthat the initiators of the project have so far created only the concept of the project, which, nevertheless, is gradually being developed and implemented. Even then, in 2016, various versions of this system were tested in several regions of China. Well, now, it seems, there are already some results. So, one of the students of a famous Chinese university was almost expelled due to the fact that his father had a low social rating.

    The problem arose from the fact that the student’s father had once taken a loan in the local bank of about $ 30,000 and could not pay it off. As a result, he fell into the "black list" of those citizens who can not be trusted. The officials decided that in this case the son was fully responsible for his father and decided to punish him at the same time, lowering him by several steps in the “social status sheets”.

    When the question arose that the son could not continue his studies at the university due to his father’s debt, he began to pay the loan in order to improve his social rating. The student continued to study, but the story itself was made public. The news very quickly spread throughout the country, because here studying at the university is a “social elevator”. The Chinese have to study hard, and this is very difficult, because the education system is quite complicated. Plus, the path to the future can be closed by a bad mark on the unified state exam in high school.

    News gotbefore the state-scale media, and after that, officials from education in the region where the incident occurred were advised not to link the parents' problems (in any case, their creditworthiness) with the fate of the children. The following article was published in People’s Daily media: “The opportunity to become a student at a prestigious university should not depend on the provision of parents, the main thing here is hard work and effort. Artificial restrictions on students' chances of studying at universities violate their right to education. ”

    So far, the social rating system that works in the country is fragmentary. In each province, it is individual, individual fragments are tested and then, if all is well, merge into a single whole.

    You can lower your rating not only by not paying the loan, but also because of drunkenness, trying to travel without a ticket, deception of a tax inspector, violation of family planning rules.

    Last year it was reported that both the country's leadership and the leadership of several dozens of PRC regions are working on the implementation of this system. Creating such a system is not easy, so it is unlikely that it will become one in the near future. Interestingly, in some cases the formation of such a system is hampered by local officials. It is simply unprofitable for them to open information on their region to the central government, otherwise they will either have to justify themselves for many years of deception, or work daily to improve performance - and most likely both.

    “Whether we will be able to implement this project or not is still unclear, we are in a state of uncertainty. In any case, this is better than what has worked all previous years, when we had no data, and the police judged people based on information received from other people, ”said Meng Tingang, a political scientist from Tsinghua University .

    As an example of a real punishment of those who have a low social rating, there are several cases of refusal to serve in the army, followed by punishment from the authorities. Refusing to serve in the army, a citizen of China falls in a position of social rating so much that they can not study in high school or get a higher education. As far as one can understand, after refusal, it is necessary to re-train, in addition, such “refuseniks” are prohibited from going abroad and buying real estate.

    As one would expect, representatives of foreign human rights organizations consider the Chinese system to be something like the “Big Brother”, in any case, its prototype. But some Chinese are quite satisfied with this system. “I have a feeling that over the past six months, people's behavior has gotten better and better. For example, at the wheel now we always stop at pedestrian crossings. If you don't stop, you lose points. At first we were worried about losing points, but now we are used to it, ” said one of the Chinese last year.

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