Going Viral: The Social Credit System and COVID-19

23 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2021

See all articles by Adam Knight

Adam Knight

Leiden University - Leiden Institute for Area Studies

Rogier Creemers

Leiden University - Leiden Institute for Area Studies

Date Written: January 20, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Knight, Adam and Creemers, Rogier, Going Viral: The Social Credit System and COVID-19 (January 20, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3770208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3770208

Adam Knight (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Institute for Area Studies ( email )

Matthias de Vrieshof 3
Room 10
Leiden, 2311
Netherlands

Rogier Creemers

Leiden University - Leiden Institute for Area Studies ( email )

Matthias de Vrieshof 3
Room 10
Leiden, 2311
Netherlands

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