On April 28, Jiangsu announced the release of its provincial-level social credit regulations 江苏省社会信用条例(草案) (征求意见稿), outlining the province’s intentions to implement, standardize and refine social credit policy and data sharing systems, and defining the rights and obligations of both government and credit subjects under the SCS.
The local regulations generally echo social credit policies at the national level, but are slightly more specific, in that they:
- Define which types of behaviors constitute “minor breach of trust”, “general breach of trust” and “severe breach of trust” for the province
- Confirm that social credit data collection starts at the county level.
- Encourage the inclusion of social credit data in privately-developed credit assessment tools, and encourage regulators to employ such tools when deciding how to deploy regulatory resources
- Define measures that regulators are permitted to take when investigating potential mis-use of credit data by third-party credit service agencies
- Stipulate which types of credit data cannot be collected, as well as which types of data require consent to be collected
- Grant credit subjects access rights to their own credit information
- Outline general procedures for credit repair
- Outline the legal liabilities for government departments that fail to implement or improperly implement SCS regulations
- Provide a tad more insight into how regulators are approaching the involvement of industry associations, chambers of commerce, and other social organizations in the SCS, namely by encouraging them to: “adopt incentives such as promotion of membership levels for members with good credit status;” and “lower membership levels, and cancel membership qualifications, and report complaints regarding members with poor credit status.“
The regulations also include a few stipulations that limit how penalties can be imposed:
- Penalties imposed on violators should be commensurate with the circumstances and consequences of the violation
- Penalties imposed must be announced to the public, and undisclosed disciplinary measures shall not be implemented.
- Penalties must be imposed only on the violator, and not on third parties.
It is expected that all provinces will eventually release provincial-level SCS regs, but like most aspects of the social credit system, the policy rollout has been fragmented and uneven from location to location. Roughly two-thirds of China’s 31 provinces have either implemented comprehensive social credit regulations or have indicated that a draft is forthcoming, while the remaining third have as yet made no announcements.
As the end of 2020 also marks the end of the first phase of national SCS planning, we expect to see several more provincial-level regulations hit the books before the end of the year, but unless given a push by the national government, it is currently unlikely that all 31 provinces will complete draft formulation by year-end.