On Wednesday, central bank official Mu Changchun published an important op-ed urging checks on the expansion of the social credit system (SCS).
Mu reminded everyone of the system’s original purpose (Caixin):
- “[A] credit reporting system helps satisfy lenders’ need for accurate, credible information that reduces the risk of lending and the cost of loan losses.”
He expressed concern about the scope of the system:
- “Credit reporting…shouldn’t control people’s private lives or be used to select a social moral model.”
Mu thinks there should be stronger limits:
- “Data collection, storing, and processing should be carried out in line with the principle of ‘minimum and necessary.’”
He also highlighted that the SCS is set to get at least some checks and balances.
- Some context: On December 22, the Party center released a document requiring better regulation of unified punishments for untrustworthy subjects, a key component of the SCS, to better protect private businesses.
Get smart: The central bank has always struck us as one of the more rational co-leaders of the SCS project, so Mu’s call for balance is unsurprising.
Get smarter: But the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is in the SCS driver’s seat – and it isn’t so restrained.
We’ll be watching to see which perspective wins out.