The Chinese Social Credit System: A Model for Other Countries?

39 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2019 Last revised: 13 Feb 2019

See all articles by Daithi Mac Sithigh

Daithi Mac Sithigh

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Mathias Siems

European University Institute (EUI); Durham University

Date Written: January 11, 2019

Abstract

Many countries know financial consumer credit ratings, and recent years have also seen a proliferation of rating systems in relation to online platforms and in the ‘sharing economy’, such as eBay, Uber and Airbnb. In the view of many Western observers, however, the emerging Chinese Social Credit System indicates a paradigm shift compared to these former rating systems as it aims for a comprehensive and uniform social rating based on penalty and award mechanisms. By contrast, this paper suggests that the Social Credit System should be seen a specific instance of a wider phenomenon. Thus, it develops a framework that compares different rating systems by reference to their drafters, aims, scoring systems, application, use of algorithms, and enforcement; it identifies shortcomings of both low and high interventionist rating systems; and it discusses a range of regulatory approaches and emerging issues that law makers should consider.

Keywords: Social Credit System, Chinese Law, Reputation Rankings, Online Platforms, Law and Technology

JEL Classification: K10, K24, K42, N40, N45, N70, N75, O33

Suggested Citation

Mac Sithigh, Daithi and Siems, Mathias, The Chinese Social Credit System: A Model for Other Countries? (January 11, 2019). EUI Department of Law Research Paper No. 2019/01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3310085

Daithi Mac Sithigh

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Mathias Siems (Contact Author)

European University Institute (EUI) ( email )

Via Bolognese 156 (Villa Salviati)
Firenze, 50139
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.eui.eu/siems

Durham University ( email )

Stockton Road
Durham, County Durham DH1 3LE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.dur.ac.uk/mathias.siems

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