Going Viral: The Social Credit System and COVID-19
23 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 20, 2021
As the scale of the governance challenge brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic became clear, the Chinese state mobilised a wide variety of governing tools at its disposal, including the Social Credit System (SCS). The system was adapted both to assist in pandemic-fighting efforts as well as to mitigate harm arising from its continued operation in unforeseen circumstances. The pandemic also provided a stress test for the SCS, from which the leadership drew lessons for its future development. Drawing on central and local government documents and official media reports, this article reviews both the short-term and long-term impact of the pandemic on the SCS, and discusses implications for its second phase.
Keywords: Social Credit System, COVID-19 pandemic, institutional reform, government informatization
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