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BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet |This is part of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticizing the ruling party, from running a red light to failing to care for your parents properly, could cause you to lose points.  And in this world, your score becomes the ultimate truth of who you are — determining whether you can borrow money, get your children into the best schools or travel abroad; whether you get a room in a fancy hotel, a seat in a top restaurant — or even just get a date. It is the scenario contained in China’s ambitious plans to develop a far-reaching social credit system, a plan that the Communist Party hopes will build a culture of “sincerity” and a “harmonious socialist society” where “keeping trust is glorious.”

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