And finally… Chinese whispers
A new app will let people know when they are in the vicinity of debtors.
The app, called a “map of deadbeat debtors,” flashes when the user is within 500 metres of an indebted person, giving them their precise location.
The release of the software caused controversy after it was reported by the China Daily.
It comes in the wake of China’s existing “social credit” system, which gives citizens a score based on how they act in public.
The government announced that “deadbeat debtors in North China’s Hebei province will find it more difficult to abscond” after the Higher People’s Court of Hebei introduced the app on Monday.
Once a debtor has been identified, a user can publicly shame them or report them to the authorities if it seems like they cannot repay their debts.
By 2020 China’s social credit system will be operational and includes plans to prevent people with low scores from travelling, taking out loans – and getting jobs.
A person’s score can be negatively affected by, for example, playing too many video games, or posting fake news. Conversely, it can be raised by donating blood or volunteering.