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Überwachung
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.

Millionäre
Mrz 13th, 2017 by Gao

Sui-lee Wee: Chinese Lawmakers’ Wallets Have Grown Along With Xi’s Power / 习近平时代,人大代表的财富迅速增长 (New York Times)

Mao once branded capitalists enemies of the Chinese people. In the era of President Xi Jinping, those capitalists are billionaire lawmakers — and they’re getting even wealthier.
The combined fortune of the wealthiest members of China’s Parliament and its advisory body amounts to $500 billion, just below the annual economic output of Sweden. Among that group of 209 entrepreneurs and business tycoons, the 100 richest saw their net worth rise 64 percent in the four years since Mr. Xi took power, according to the Hurun Report, an organization based in Shanghai that tracked the wealth of the delegates, ahead of their annual joint sessions that start on Friday in Beijing.
Since he was anointed leader, Mr. Xi has pledged to tackle income inequality, alleviate poverty and crack down on corruption. Warning that graft could bring down the ruling Communists, Mr. Xi has ordered an end to alcohol-fueled banquets and bribery, which often takes the form of red packets filled with cash or luxury handbags.
The increasing wealth of lawmakers “tells us that political power and money have remained tightly intertwined in China: this is a structural issue that Xi cannot solve,” but only hide, said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a professor of Chinese politics at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Hurun Global Rich List 2017 (胡润百富)

The Hurun Global Rich List 2017 ranked 2,257 billionaires from 68 countries and from 1811 companies in another record-breaking year for the world’s billionaires.
Total wealth increased by 16% to US$8.0 trillion equivalent to 10.7% of global GDP, and up from 7% of global GDP five years ago. Hoogewerf said, “Global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth.” …
Chinese billionaires led the USA for the second year running, with 609 compared with 552. Hoogewerf said “China and the USA have half the billionaires in the world.” …
The ‘Big Two’ are Greater China and the USA with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, amounting to half of the billionaires on the planet. It has been a good year for Germany, which surged past India into third place. UAE and Indonesia broke into the Top 20 for the first time. Bangladesh contributed a billionaire for the first time, to take the countries that the billionaires reside in to 68 countries…
Greater China: No 1 with 609 billionaires, 41 more than last year. The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires is US$1.6 trillion, 2.1% of the global GDP. Real Estate has generated most number of billionaires (120), followed by Manufacturing and TMT with 115 and 78 respectively. Led by Beijing, 5 Chinese cities make the top 10 cities and 7 the Top 20. Average age is 58, six years younger than the average of the list. China is the number 1 in the world in terms of generating self-made billionaires akin to “rags to riches” and is home to two-thirds of the world’s self-made female billionaires. A February IPO propelled Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express to third spot, with a five-fold growth in his wealth to US$27bn, just behind Wang Jianlin and Jack Ma. Corporate raider Yao Zhenhua of Baoneng saw the fastest growth on the list, rising almost eight-fold to US$15bn, but in February was barred from the insurance industry for ten years by the regulator…
New Entrants to Top 100. There were 23 new entrants to the Top 100, led by Chinese Express Delivery King Wang Wei of SF Express, whose February IPO saw his wealth shoot up five-fold to US$27bn, straight into 25 in the world. Others of note include former China Number One Ding Lei, 46, of Netease, and Elon Musk, who broke into the Top 100 for the first time. Lakshmi Mittal, 66, won back most of his losses from last year, on the back of a recovery in the global steel market…
Women. 15% of the list are women. Of the 152 self-made women, Chinese led the way with 121 (a staggering 79.6%), followed by 14 from the USA and 8 from the UK. The richest women are Liliane Bettencourt, 94, of L’Oreal with US$28bn, followed by Alice Walton of Wal-mart, Jacqueline Mars of Mars and Maria Franca Fissolo of Ferrero Rocher. The richest self-made woman in the world is Beijing Real Estate Queen Chen Lihua of FuHua with US$7.2bn. Hoogewerf said, “China is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.”…
Others include 115 Chinese billionaires with senior political appointments to the NPC and CPPC…
29% of billionaires are of Chinese origin, up 22 to 652 this year, and 252 new Chinese billionaires five years ago.

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