The invisible backbone of China’s social credit system

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  • The “Internet+Supervision” platform is the hub for data sharing and coordination between government authorities at all levels. It picks up on assessment results from CSCS-databases, such as the National Credit Information Sharing Platform, and combines it with government-external data on company performance.
  • On basis of this large data set, risk scores are calculated and actions by government authorities coordinated that determine the frequency of inspections and spot checks a company is confronted with. The system aims for more standardized, targeted and coordinated regulation.
  • The design and implementation of the “Internet+Supervision” platform is led by the E-Government Office of the General Office of the State Council. Implementation started in 2018. Today, the system is mostly up and running, with standardized platforms at ministerial and provincial level connected to the national one and being upgraded dynamically to achieve more regulatory functions.
  • The “Internet+Supervision” platforms are mostly non-transparent and invisible to the public. Only a few local “Internet+Supervision” systems are accessible (e.g., the one in Zhejiang province) and provide a glance into the coordination effort behind the scenes. Most others, including the national one, are not accessible at all and installed for government-internal use only.
  • The “Internet+Supervision” platform does not provide an additional burden to companies in itself. Instead, it illustrates how Chinese authorities employ the rich information on regulatory compliance assessed and collected via the Corporate Social Credit System and other sources like public complaint channels.
  • Coordination between Ministries seemed to be the Achilles heel of regulatory compliance and the Corporate Social Credit System in China, but the “Internet+Supervison” system shows the strong effort by China’s government to bridge this last gap of market regulation enforcement.

Sinolytics is a European consulting and analysis company specializing in China. It advises European companies on their strategic orientation and concrete business activities in the People’s Republic.


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