When it comes to a standard combat video game, the format is relatively simple.
There’s usually two players — each beginning with 100 life points.
It’s X to jump, square to kick, circle to punch, and when you mash them all together you can do some impressive round-house kick combo move.
As you get the living daylights karate-chopped out of you, those points will gradually dwindle down. The loser is left for dead with zero points, while the winner stands victorious with his handful of life points still on the board.
In some aspects, this model is employed in the real world. Your competence as a driver is displayed with your abundance (or lack) of driver’s licence points. Your financial credibility is denoted by your credit score. And your viability as a friend might even be kept by an unofficial strike system (one too many bad jokes might get you excommunicated).
But never before has it been applied to your overall worth as a citizen.
How good of a citizen are you?
China’s 1.4 billion citizens are under the all-seeing, all powerful red eye of the party now more than ever.
As has been the case for decades, the communist party already tightly controls what you can and can’t say when it comes to political opinions, jokes, knowledge of history and vocabulary.
You can forget about having an opinion that differs from the status quo of aggressive, subservient love for the party — unless you want to put your freedom in grave danger. And if you know anything about Chinese politics, you won’t even think about mentioning Winnie the Pooh or Peppa the Pig.
There’s no doubt that freedom of speech is already heavily restricted in China. But in a move to quell any remaining inklings of dissent, the Chinese government has come up with a new point-based system to further punish those who dare to stray from the norm of society.
According to the Chinese government, the nationwide system will pursue the goal of ‘awarding the trustworthy’ and ‘punishing the disobedient’. In this somewhat video game inspired rating system, you can increase your score by donating blood or doing over 500 hours of volunteer work — and decrease your score by avoiding fines, jaywalking, or even cheating in a video game.
Blacklisted debtor displayed on an LCD screen in Taishan city
This ‘social credit system’ is currently being trialled in numerous provinces including Suzhou, where citizens begin with 100 points and can reach anywhere between 0–200 points depending on their actions.
Aside from travel restrictions, those with low scores are also banned from staying in 5-star hotels, taking a holiday, buying a house, using their assets or sending their children to private school.
By 2020, every citizen will be a part of the social credit system and have their own digital scorecard. A rollout which many members of the population are worriedly anticipating.
The most unsettling part of the system is that you won’t know you have a low score until you attempt to do something out of your point level. So far, according to a new report by China’s National Development and Reform Commission, authorities have already banned over seven million people from boarding flights, and three million from boarding high-speed trains after they were deemed ‘untrustworthy’ by the social credit system. A fact they didn’t realise until they attempted to travel.
As the new social credit system rolls out, Chinese nationals are increasingly looking to other nations for a better standard of living. And in contrast to China and other nations under authoritarian rule, Australia is an island of paradise.
Our staunchly democratic society is something we should strive to protect, so we can continue to set an example for the rest of the globe. Because right now, many nations look to us for quality. Particularly when it comes to our fertile green landscape and the superior products it produces.
China, with its army of disillusioned Daigou shoppers (a network of shoppers who are paid to buy things for Chinese nationals to send it back overseas) have well and truly set up camp in Australia. They’re on the hunt for anything of value that China lacks, whether it be baby formula, skin care products or fresh produce.
After extensive research and careful timing, Ryan Dinse has selected three ‘pink gold‘ stocks which he believes are set to soar off Chinese consumers’ new obsession with ‘clean and green’ Australian products.
Ryan believes that if you get in early on this new trend, you could potentially reap incredible rewards. So to read his new report ASAP, go here.
This week in Markets & Money
Bankers, after knowingly giving mortgages to people who can’t afford them, are going to act surprised when the next crisis hits. But as Vern wrote on Monday, you know better than that. The best thing to do is prepare now, so you’re not caught out later.
To read the full story, click here.
On Tuesday, after Tilray stock went ballistic, Terence noticed that among other things, there was a high amount of fleeting interest in it. The shorts continued to hold firm in their bet against the stock, despite the turbulence. However as Terence notes, you can invite less stress into your share trading by trading with the trend. Not against it.
To learn how, click here.
Then on Wednesday, Jason noted that crude has been booming since 2016. But despite the bullish price action, the market doesn’t seem to care. However the market can’t ignore the sector forever, and when the sentiment changes, Jason believes crude oil stocks are poised to skyrocket.
To learn how, click here.
On Thursday, Harje wrote about Aussie retailers and how there is a trend in women’s fashion around active gear. And when it comes to Lorna Jane’s move to expand into China, Australians could potentially benefit.
To learn how, click here.
Real eyes realise real lies. That’s the message Vern was pushing on Friday. And there’s no realer lie than the level of global debt we’re currently swimming in.
To learn how to protect yourself, click here.
Until next week,
Editor, Markets & Money