Chinese police are now conducting random stop-and-search checks for banned foreign apps such as Instagram and Twitter: reports


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The social credit score thing is also very real

My wife is Chinese, I've been to China, I have several Chinese friends, 我可以说一些中文. Nobody knows anything about this supposed social credit thing. Whenever I ask anyone about it - and I have, several times, because it is commonly mentioned in western news, they're always like, "wtf are you even talking about?".

I've done pretty deep dives looking into it, and seems like it's a smattering of not really used apps in a few cities, and a lawsuit judgement board online. People are envisioning some sort of black mirrorish situation, but it's not something any of the Chinese people I know personally seem to think exists, and when I was in China certainly saw no instance of it. There is a COVID monitoring app now, and that can be quite draconian - my wife's parents were passing through a city or area where someone had COVID, and despite testing negative, were locked in their house for like 3 weeks. But social credit score? No, this is essentially not a real thing that real Chinese people are dealing with.

and all of your banking must be done through one universal app. I think it's 'WeChat', it's sort of the government mandated catch-all app.

This is a misunderstanding of WeChat. WeChat isn't government-mandated, it's just super fucking popular. Think of it like a combination Facebook, Instagram, PayPal app. You can buy stuff in China without it - foreigners, at least when I went to China, couldn't use WeChat to buy things unless they had a Chinese bank account (I THINK this isn't true now though, but I am not 100% sure) and so I had to use cash everywhere, or card the few places that would take them (which was not many). But for native Chinese people, it's actually super handy. Basically scan a QR code of your bill, pay it or split it right on your phone.

Now that being said, I am 100% sure the CCP has strong tendrils into WeChat, but it isn't government-mandated. Just life is much harder in China without it. An analog would be like living without a credit/debit card in the US.

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