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Mrz 19th, 2018 by Gao

国务院关于印发社会信用体系建设规划纲要(2014—2020年)的通知
State Council Notice concerning Issuance of the Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020)
(China Copyright and Media)

社会信用体系是社会主义市场经济体制和社会治理体制的重要组成部分。它以法律、法规、标准和契约为依据,以健全覆盖社会成员的信用记录和信用基础设施网络为基础,以信用信息合规应用和信用服务体系为支撑,以树立诚信文化理念、弘扬诚信传统美德为内在要求,以守信激励和失信约束为奖惩机制,目的是提高全社会的诚信意识和信用水平。 A social credit system is an important component part of the Socialist market economy system and the social governance system. It is founded on laws, regulations, standards and charters, it is based on a complete network covering the credit records of members of society and credit infrastructure, it is supported by the lawful application of credit information and a credit services system, its inherent requirements are establishing the idea of an sincerity culture, and carrying forward sincerity and traditional virtues, it uses encouragement to keep trust and constraints against breaking trust as incentive mechanisms, and its objective is raising the honest mentality and credit levels of the entire society.

Mareike Ohlberg, Shazeda Ahmed, Bertram Lang: Central planning, local experiments. The complex implementation of China’s Social Credit System (PDF; MERICS)

Even if the full vision of the system is not realized, the scope of this project is massive and will transform China’s legal, social, and economic environment significantly…
Several social credit pilot projects are already operational, testing new approaches of collecting data and using it to sanction undesirable behavior on a limited scale. These punishments offer unprecedented possibilities to surveil and steer the behavior of natural and legal persons and therefore would have far-reaching consequences if adopted nationwide.
National implementation is still at an early stage: many of the measures put in place are establishing foundations for sharing information between different departments of government…
The relationship between government and commercial actors will be a key factor to watch: Government agencies clearly depend on private companies’ technological know-how to roll out such a large-scale system. Conflicts and rivalry between bureaucratic and commercial players, however, could delay or even derail its implementation.

Mara Hvistendahl: Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking (Wired)

In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald’s, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see, had been largely replaced by two smartphone apps: Alipay and WeChat Pay. One day, at a vegetable market, he watched a woman his mother’s age pull out her phone to pay for her groceries. He decided to sign up.
To get an Alipay ID, Liu had to enter his cell phone number and scan his national ID card. He did so reflexively. Alipay had built a reputation for reliability, and compared to going to a bank managed with slothlike indifference and zero attention to customer service, signing up for Alipay was almost fun. With just a few clicks he was in. Alipay’s slogan summed up the experience: “Trust makes it simple.”

Anna Mitchell, Larry Diamond: China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone (Atlantic)

Imagine a society in which you are rated by the government on your trustworthiness. Your “citizen score” follows you wherever you go. A high score allows you access to faster internet service or a fast-tracked visa to Europe. If you make political posts online without a permit, or question or contradict the government’s official narrative on current events, however, your score decreases. To calculate the score, private companies working with your government constantly trawl through vast amounts of your social media and online shopping data…
The new social credit system under development will consolidate reams of records from private companies and government bureaucracies into a single “citizen score” for each Chinese citizen. In its comprehensive 2014 planning outline, the CCP explains a goal of “keep[ing] trust and constraints against breaking trust.” While the system is voluntary for now, it will be mandatory by 2020.

Adam Greenfield: China’s Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious (Atlantic)

[T]he Chinese government has become convinced that a far greater degree of social control is both necessary and possible. It now has access to a set of tools for managing the complexity of contemporary life that it believes will deliver better, surer, and more reliable results than anything produced by the model of order from below.
Known by the anodyne name “social credit,” this system is designed to reach into every corner of existence both online and off. It monitors each individual’s consumer behavior, conduct on social networks, and real-world infractions like speeding tickets or quarrels with neighbors. Then it integrates them into a single, algorithmically determined “sincerity” score. Every Chinese citizen receives a literal, numeric index of their trustworthiness and virtue, and this index unlocks, well, everything. In principle, anyway, this one number will determine the opportunities citizens are offered, the freedoms they enjoy, and the privileges they are granted.
This end-to-end grid of social control is still in its prototype stages, but three things are already becoming clear: First, where it has actually been deployed, it has teeth. Second, it has profound implications for the texture of urban life. And finally, there’s nothing so distinctly Chinese about it that it couldn’t be rolled out anywhere else the right conditions obtain. The advent of social credit portends changes both dramatic and consequential for life in cities everywhere—including the one you might call home.

Rene Chun: China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech (Atlantic)

Dystopia starts with 23.6 inches of toilet paper. That’s how much the dispensers at the entrance of the public restrooms at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven dole out in a program involving facial-recognition scanners—part of the president’s “Toilet Revolution,” which seeks to modernize public toilets. Want more? Forget it. If you go back to the scanner before nine minutes are up, it will recognize you and issue this terse refusal: “Please try again later.”
China is rife with face-scanning technology worthy of Black Mirror. Don’t even think about jaywalking in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Last year, traffic-management authorities there started using facial recognition to crack down. When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

Gesellschaftliche Bonität
Nov 13th, 2017 by Gao

国务院关于印发社会信用体系建设规划纲要(2014—2020年)的通知(中华人民共和国中央政府)

社会信用体系是社会主义市场经济体制和社会治理体制的重要组成部分。它以法律、法规、标准和契约为依据,以健全覆盖社会成员的信用记录和信用基础设施网络为基础,以信用信息合规应用和信用服务体系为支撑,以树立诚信文化理念、弘扬诚信传统美德为内在要求,以守信激励和失信约束为奖惩机制,目的是提高全社会的诚信意识和信用水平。
  加快社会信用体系建设是全面落实科学发展观、构建社会主义和谐社会的重要基础,是完善社会主义市场经济体制、加强和创新社会治理的重要手段,对增强社会成员诚信意识,营造优良信用环境,提升国家整体竞争力,促进社会发展与文明进步具有重要意义。
  根据党的十八大提出的“加强政务诚信、商务诚信、社会诚信和司法公信建设”,党的十八届三中全会提出的“建立健全社会征信体系,褒扬诚信,惩戒失信”,《中共中央 国务院关于加强和创新社会管理的意见》提出的“建立健全社会诚信制度”,以及《中华人民共和国国民经济和社会发展第十二个五年规划纲要》(以下简称“十二五”规划纲要)提出的“加快社会信用体系建设”的总体要求,制定本规划纲要。规划期为2014—2020年。

Übersetzung ins Englische:
Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020) (China Copyright and Media)
国务院关于促进市场公平竞争维护市场正常秩序的若干意见(中华人民共和国中央政府)

以邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想、科学发展观为指导,深入学习领会党的十八大、十八届二中、三中全会精神,贯彻落实党中央和国务院的各项决策部署,围绕使市场在资源配置中起决定性作用和更好发挥政府作用,着力解决市场体系不完善、政府干预过多和监管不到位问题,坚持放管并重,实行宽进严管,激发市场主体活力,平等保护各类市场主体合法权益,维护公平竞争的市场秩序,促进经济社会持续健康发展。……
充分发挥市场在资源配置中的决定性作用,把该放的权力放开放到位,降低准入门槛,促进就业创业。法不禁止的,市场主体即可为;法未授权的,政府部门不能为。……
充分发挥法律法规的规范作用、行业组织的自律作用、舆论和社会公众的监督作用,实现社会共同治理,推动市场主体自我约束、诚信经营。……
立足于促进企业自主经营、公平竞争,消费者自由选择、自主消费,商品和要素自由流动、平等交换,建设统一开放、竞争有序、诚信守法、监管有力的现代市场体系,加快形成权责明确、公平公正、透明高效、法治保障的市场监管格局……

Übersetzung ins Englische:
Opinions of the State Council on Promoting Fair Market Competition and Maintaining the Normal Market Order (北大法律英文网)
Rachel Botsman: Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens (Wired)

The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents.
Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It’s not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school – or even just your chances of getting a date.

Mirjam Meissner: China’s Social Credit System (PDF; Mercator Institute for China Studies)

Under the catchphrase “Social Credit System,” China is currently implementing a new and highly innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behavior of market participants. The Social Credit System will have significant impact on the behavior of individuals, companies, and other institutions, such as NGOs. Despite much international attention on the impact of the system for individuals, the core motivation behind the Social Credit System is to more effectively steer the behavior of market participants…
The ultimate goal is to build self-enforcing mechanisms for business regulation: Based on advanced big data technologies, the system is designed to constantly monitor and evaluate companies’ economic as well as non-economic behavior…
The system will create strong incentives for companies to make their business decisions and operations comply not just with laws and regulations but also with the industrial and technological policy targets laid down by the Chinese government…
At the heart of the Social Credit System lies massive data collection on company activities by government agencies and authorized rating entities.

Celia Hatton: China ’social credit‘: Beijing sets up huge system (BBC)

In most countries, the existence of a credit system isn’t controversial. Past financial information is used to predict whether individuals will pay their mortgages or credit card bill in the future.
But China is taking the whole concept a few steps further. The Chinese government is building an omnipotent „social credit“ system that is meant to rate each citizen’s trustworthiness.

Sara Hsu: China’s New Social Credit System (Diplomat)

Despite hyped concerns in the foreign press, little is actually known about China’s plans to rate citizens and firms.

Shazeda Ahmed: Cashless Society, Cached Data: Security Considerations for a Chinese Social Credit System (Citizen Lab)

In an irony that has plagued many a surveillance apparatus, the spread of a social credit system and its associated sensors, QR codes, and other trace-reading tools can create new security concerns separate from those it allegedly aims to reduce through near-ubiquitous monitoring of behavior. These new threats involve the ways in which credit score data can be forged, and the ends toward which fake credit scores may be used. The expedited security check at the Beijing airport for Sesame Credit users with high enough scores who are traveling on domestic flights provides one example of a situation where a falsified high score could enable someone to bypass more rigorous security checks, which can be a threat to national security from a skilled and determined enough actor. The more widely used the social credit system becomes and the greater the range of rewards it may provide high scorers, the more incentives for figuring out how to hack it will proliferate.

Das Ganze erinnert an Black Mirror, 1. Folge, 3. Staffel: Nosedive (dt.: Abgestürzt) vom Oktober 2016.

Panama-Papiere
Apr 6th, 2016 by Gao

Matthias Müller: Sprachlos in Peking (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Staatschef Xi Jinping ist Korruption ein Dorn im Auge. Die Enthüllungen der «Panama Papers» wird er deshalb mit Argusaugen verfolgen. Auch Mitglieder seiner Familie nutzen jedoch «Briefkastenfirmen». …
Welche Chinesen Briefkastenfirmen gründeten, bleibt im Dunkeln. Deren Namen dürften für eine breite chinesische Öffentlichkeit jedoch keine grosse Überraschung darstellen. Im Fokus steht Deng Jiagui , der seit 1996 mit der älteren Schwester von Staats- und Parteichef Xi Jinping, Qi Qiaoqiao, verheiratet ist. Das Ehepaar war bereits 2012 in Visier westlicher Medien geraten, als die Nachrichtenagentur «Bloomberg» enthüllte, dass es über Vermögenswerte in Höhe von mehreren Hundert Millionen Dollar verfüge.

Huang Zheping: China’s elite—including Xi Jinping—are linked to offshore deals that hid millions of dollars (Quartz)

At least eight top Chinese officials are linked to offshore deals through associates, an investigation into 11 million leaked documents from one of the world’s largest offshore law firms shows. They include the brother-in-law of Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose offshore firms went dormant before Xi came into power, and the granddaughter of a former top leader who bought an offshore company for just $1.

Juliette Garside, David Pegg: Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility (Guardian)

The eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers.
The documents show the granddaughter of a powerful Chinese leader became the sole shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies while still a teenager. Jasmine Li had just begun studying at Stanford University in the US when the companies were registered in her name in December 2010. Her grandfather Jia Qinglin was at that time the fourth-ranked politician in China…
Also in the data are Hu Dehua, the businessman son of Hu Yaobang, the Communist party’s general secretary ousted in 1987…

Johnny Erling: Der Panama-Skandal erreicht Chinas Führung (Standard)
Panama Papers – The Power Players: Deng Jiagui | Li Xiaolin (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
Powerful force is behind Panama Papers (Global Times)

A huge leak of confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm alleged to have been a facilitator of money laundering for its clients has shocked international public opinion. Over 11 million documents were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. These documents have been reportedly investigated by some 300 global journalists for a year.
The Western media soon collected the most eye-catching information from the documents and leaders of non-Western countries have been scrutinized. Most media led with the allegations that a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin had laundered $1 billion. The Western media has opaquely described it as „Putin’s money laundering.“ …
The Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it. Information that is negative to the US can always be minimized, while exposure of non-Western leaders, such as Putin, can get extra spin.
In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West. In the long-run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations.

In den Medienberichten weniger prominent platziert:
Tsai Ing-wens Bruder hatte Beziehungen zu Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca (Radio Taiwan International)

Tsai Ying-yang, der Bruder der kommenden Präsidentin Tsai Ing-wen, hatte Beziehungen zur Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca. Das wird aus den kürzlich veröffentlichten Dokumenten der im Rahmen der Steuerhinterziehung genutzen panamaischen Anwaltskanzlei deutlich. …
Die Kanzlei [Mossack Fonseca] wurde 1977 von Jürgen Mossack, dem Sohn des Waffen-SS Rottenführers Erhard Mossack gegründet. Der US-Auslandsgeheimdienst CIA führte seinen Vater nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg für Spionagezwecke in Panama. Dort gründete der Sohn Jürgen Mossack die in die Schlagzeilen geratene Kanzlei zusammen mit dem panamaischen Anwalt Ramón Fonseca Mora.

Mia Lamar, Ned Levin: Five Things to Know About Hong Kong and the ‘Panama Papers’ (Wall Street Journal)

Hong Kong features prominently in a massive trove of documents allegedly leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., according to reports published by international media outlets…
Hong Kong Was Mossack Fonseca’s Busiest Office…
China Laws Help Drive Hong Kong Offshore Activity… Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which went public in New York in 2014 in a record-beating $25 billion offering, is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for instance.

Peter Wolter, Ernst Wolff: »Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt« (junge Welt)

Vom Skandal um die Panama-Konten profitieren in erster Linie die US-amerikanischen Steueroasen…
Es ist ganz offensichtlich ein Manöver der USA, sich selbst als weltweit beste Steueroase zu präsentieren. Wenn man die bisher vorliegenden Informationen über diese Panama-Papiere heranzieht, fällt auf, dass dort vor allem Gegner der USA angeschwärzt werden – die USA selber bleiben aber außen vor. Banken dieses Landes werden überhaupt nicht erwähnt, ebenso wenig Konzerne. Soweit ich weiß, werden auch keine Privatpersonen aus den USA genannt.
Das Interessante dabei ist, was nicht veröffentlicht wurde. Durch die Publizierung von Teilen dieser Papiere wird nämlich Druck auf Steuerhinterzieher aller Länder ausgeübt, ihr Schwarzgeld anderswo in Sicherheit zu bringen – niemand von ihnen kann wissen, ob nicht auch er in der Liste steht. Diese Leute werden sich vorsichtshalber eine neue Steueroase suchen: die USA. …
[Die USA] haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren – weitgehend unbemerkt von der breiten Öffentlichkeit – als neues Steuerparadies etabliert. Seit der Jahrtausendwende haben Regierung und Finanzkreise in Washington einen Krieg zum Beispiel gegen die Schweiz geführt: Deren Banken wurden genötigt, das Bankgeheimnis aufzuweichen. …
Parallel dazu wurden aber die US-Bundesstaaten Nevada, Delaware, South-Dakota und Wyoming als Standorte für derartige Konten etabliert. Dort gilt das Bankgeheimnis ohne Einschränkungen, den Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt. …
Natürlich ist es gut, dass einige dieser Schiebereien jetzt an die Öffentlichkeit kommen. Aber letzlich versucht doch nur ein Übeltäter, andere Bösewichte zu beschmutzen, um von sich selbst abzulenken. Die wahren Schuldigen am Finanzchaos, die ganz großen Firmen und die Finanzinstitute der Wallstreet, bleiben mit Sicherheit ungeschoren.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak (Craig Murray)

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

  • Ford Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment
  • Rockefeller Family Fund
  • W K Kellogg Foundation
  • Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Clifford Coonan: Panama Papers: China describes revelations about its leaders as ‘groundless’ (Irish Times)

Und anderswo:
Self-censorship sensed as Japan’s TV stations replace outspoken anchors (Japan Times)

Hosts Ichiro Furutachi of TV Asahi’s influential “Hodo Station” and Shigetada Kishii of the TBS evening news program “News 23″ will both be replaced in April. NHK, too, is considering pulling longtime anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya from its “Close-up Gendai” news and features program.
Furutachi has often been criticized by the government and its supporters for his commentaries…
Kuniya’s departure has long been whispered about as she is known for asking big-name politicians tough questions. However, she has survived until now.
Similarly, Kishii expressed opposition to contentious security bills before they cleared the Diet last September and called on fellow opponents to speak up.

Siegfried Knittel: Beschneidung der Pressefreiheit in Japan nimmt zu (Standard)

Journalisten beklagen ein zunehmend repressives Klima in Japan. Der Rücktritt dreier bekannter Fernsehmoderatoren sorgt für Unruhe…
Ins Blickfeld der ausländischen Presse geriet Furutachi, Macher der abendlichen Nachrichtensendung „Hodo Station“ des linksliberalen Asahi TV, im vergangenen Jahr, nachdem der Kommentator Shigeaki Koga in Furutachis Nachrichtensendung bekanntgemacht hatte, dass der Sender ihn auf Druck der Regierung zum Rücktritt gedrängt habe. Nun traf es Furutachi wegen seiner in „Hodo Station“ geäußerten Zweifel an der Verfassungskonformität der im vergangenen Jahr verabschiedeten Verteidigungsgesetze selbst.

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