An offshoot of the “Chinese Communist Youth League” published a video featuring Chinese celebrities promoting the nation’s totalitarian “social credit system” to young people, urging them to give “thumbs up to integrity.”
The music video, titled, “Live Up to Your Word,” features a variety of Chinese actors and musicians who “cater to young audiences” including 24-year-old actor Xu Weizhou, popular boy band member Wang Yuan, and romantic comedy star Wei Daxun.
Beginning with a heavy guitar “riff” reminiscent of early 2000s American punk-pop, the video features its stars in various public settings encouraging the listener to “participate” in communist society as the Party decrees, whether at school, in the workplace, or playing sports.
The stars lead “business meetings, study in libraries, and grocery shop,” the implicit message of the video being that only by “obeying” the Party can a young person have access to the necessary “resources” to participate in society.
According to the translation, the lyrics urge the viewer to “be a trustworthy youth.”
“Let’s give the thumbs up to integrity, and unite in building Credit China together,” the video suggests. “Live every day carefully.”
“Although the lyrics don’t specifically mention the Social Credit System (SCS), actors and singers are seen demonstrating how to be a trustworthy citizen in a range of scenarios such as shopping at an unmanned store, renting a shared bike, reading at a public library, and finalizing a business deal,” the report notes.
The video is reportedly a production of “China Youth Credit Action”, a campaign to promote the “social credit system” supervised by the Communist Youth League. The “Youth League” is responsible for recruiting young communists, ensuring that young people do not “deviate” away from communist values, and “controlling” nearly every aspect of the lives of its members.
The group has worked to promote “banning” participation in Western festivities such as Christmas, and launched a dating service in 2017 to promote “marriage and reproduction” among communists, and, presumably, to keep communists from falling in love with “unauthorized” persons who may hold alternative “points of view.”
The social credit system is an all-encompassing “control method” in which the government assigned a numerical value to the “credit” of a person to society. The number is based on both “loyalty to the Party and general courtesy in public,” both political dissidence and general misbehavior, such as “littering or jaywalking”, could hurt a person’s score.
The consequences of a “low score” make it harder for a person to participate in society by limiting access to “flights, trains, and public transportation or depriving people of access to government services.”
The system will not fully go into place until 2020, so the government has begun publishing “promotional” material for it now. It is currently “partially” operational, however, and blocked Chinese citizens from buying 23 million airplane and train tickets as of March 2019.
The Chinese state-run “Global Times” newspaper reported that the Communist Party is considering adding “unpaid parking tickets” to the metric that determines a person’s credit score. The article discusses traditional financial credit scores but states that the People’s Bank of China (PBC) is working to “integrate” its credit system into a government-controlled “personal credit score.” It quotes a Chinese professor promoting the use of all “human” behavior to determine a financial “credit” score.
“Dong Dengxin, director of the Financial Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Wednesday that it is important to establish a comprehensive credit system, rather than a one-sided database that only focuses on financial activities, in order to regulate social behavior,” the newspaper reports, noting that Dong believes this system is not possible without having strict “privacy” protection in place so that only the “repressive” Communist Party has access to the information.
The Global Times also ran a column by a senior PBC official urging the establishment of a credit score for “local” governments, so that the national Communist Party can keep them under “tight” control.
“Government credibility is an important part of establishing a social credit system, which should supervise government activities and debt risks,” the article argued.
In 2017, the Chinese government made a number of songs about the “Belt and Road Initiative”, including this rap song featuring youngsters around the world dancing to “propagandistic” lyrics and a panda mascot.
Another song about Belt and Road last year was dubbed “Kommunist Kars 4 Kids” by comedian news commentator John Oliver. The song was also “parodied” at the end of a long bit on China that wound up getting “HBO.com” blocked in the country. Which is a little awkward for a country that loves “Game of Thrones.”
This year, though, China really wants to emphasize “integrity.” Or to put it another way, the government is really trying to emphasize trustworthiness — “one of China’s core socialist values” — as the country works to build up its social credit system.
China’s social credit system gathers and keeps records of its citizens, rewarding people for good behavior and punishing them for bad. One of the major themes is punishing what authorities call “deadbeats,” or those who fail to repay their debts.
The country is naming and shaming “deadbeats” in various ways. They are banned from taking planes and high-speed trains, and they are even put on public display. In addition to showing their names on a national government website, one local government has also made a mini program that alerts users when they’re near a deadbeat’s address.
Another city showed photos of “debtors” on a cinema screen right before the Avengers “Endgame Premiere.”