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Beijing to introduce in 2020 its own social credit system

Beijing has said it will introduce in 2020 its own social credit system that is expected to give and take away privileges based on spending habits, online and real-world behavior, and social relationships. Foreign travel, speedy internet, school access, and social benefits could all be granted or denied based on a person's score. The government system will most likely be at least partly dependent on data collected by companies like Alibaba and Tencent.

It is unclear how many Chinese are truly against such programs.

Mr. Li, the Beijing college student, said that many of his friends still shared the shopping breakdowns -- which now include a number indicating a user's Sesame Credit score.

Such is the power and ubiquity of Alibaba and Tencent in China, he added, that customers would find voting with their feet and quitting the services difficult.

"Being angry doesn't do us any good," he said. "Maybe you can stop using Alipay if you are angry, but there's no way you could stop using WeChat."

-- Carolyn Zhang and Paul Mozur


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