China's Social Credit System Expands to Target Benefits Fraud

Under the program - which is designed to incentivize good behavior and punish bad behavior - individuals and companies caught breaking the law will now risk further penalties beyond any fines or prison terms that courts might impose.

The measures announced on Wednesday by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security would target companies that fail to register employees for benefits such as medical insurance or pensions, as well as people who commit fraud to obtain benefits.

Offenders now face being added to an online credit blacklist for one to three years.

Earlier this month the National Health Commission said it was asking local governments to consider ways to use the social credit system to encourage blood donations.

The announcement of plans to incentivize blood donations received a mixed reaction on social media, with some people questioning whether it was necessary to include everything in the system. Others asked whether it was appropriate to reward this behavior because some people could not donate for health reasons.

The official blueprint for the social credit system, which is supposed to come into effect next year, said it would "allow the trustworthy to benefit wherever they go while making it difficult for the discredited to take a single step".

Selected cities have already become test beds for programmes that encourage businesses and individuals to comply with existing rules.

Last year, about 17.46 million "discredited" people were restricted from buying plane tickets and 5.47 million were restricted from purchasing high-speed train tickets, according to the 2018 annual report released by the National Public Credit Information Centre.

"Blood donations should be voluntary, it has nothing to do with social credit," said one Weibo user.


Editor: Crystal H


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