Chinese app offers map of "deadbeat debtors" near you

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/24/chinese-app-offers-map-of-de.html

Hard at work building their dystopia I see.

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First it was weChat, now meet weBeat

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https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2018-07-06/hundreds-of-thousands-at-risk-for-passport-denial-because-of-tax-debt

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In authoritarian China you’re encouraged to turn the deadbeats in to the state. In the inevitable U.S. version it will be an invitation for individuals to participate in The Purge, with bounties paid out by the lending institutions.

Anyone who’d participate in the development of any version of this kind of app is a waste of oxygen.

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I hope Trump’s not planning to visit China anytime soon.

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In the US version, the very first false positive would sue the maker out of existence. In fact, their bankers would lend them no money to get started because the legal problems are so damn obvious. I assume it’s different in China.

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Equifax and pals seem to be too stodgy to offer social-mobile gamified crowdsourced credit reporting; but their success certainly doesn’t suggest that being wrong about debt is legally perilous.

You are doing well if they deign to grudgingly accept the corrections you hammer through their process layers; never mind having any sort of cause of action for the error.

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In China your social credit goes down when you criticize the state.

This is not hyperbole.

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Pokemon Go, gotta catch them all!

I’ve seen that coming for years.

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What’s the motivation to use this app? I mean, I can see why the kind of psychotic stalinist who wants to be part of a government like that would want to make the app, but I don’t see any upside to putting it on your phone and using it, unless it’s mandatory.

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I’d be curious to know what the breakdown is on motive(please note, not that it would be exculpatory regardless; we all know what the road to hell is paved with):

There are, presumably, the same sort of creepy abhumans that gave us Klout, just with their transgression baselines calibrated by formative exposure to a good solid authoritarian dystopia and so spurred to further effort.

However, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if there is also a contingent that had been sufficiently infused by ambient low social trust such that they no longer see the difference between building technologically enforced zero-trust arrangements and increasing the average trust level.

The latter category are still deserving of the same fate that people who think that ‘consent’ is best served by blockchain-based contracting mechanisms have earned(viz. The Special Hell, with sentencing enhancements); but their motives are more interesting.

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Or it increases your own social credit score.

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I am definitely no expert, but I’ve heard explanations that in Chinese society, there’s basically no idea of a social obligation to others that are outside of your network (guanxi). So you would lose face if you screwed over your uncle’s friend’s nephew’s company, but screwing over anyone outside your network is totally OK.

If any experts on Chinese social dynamics can clarify or correct this understanding, please do so!

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Not that much more interesting. We’ve spent the last quarter century seeing the damage that bitter nerds who never got over being bullied in HS can do once they’re given any sort of power. That some of them have gulled themselves into believing their revenge on society is a techno-utopian benefit for it doesn’t change the fact that they’re actually not contributing anything of value and in fact making the world a worse place.

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Why not? :thinking::wink:

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Good point.

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Would be more interesting if it included corporate debt for the C-suite.

I can’t speak to the case of Il Douche, especially since being in debt to Russians is more his style. But the minute a Chinese corporate exec stops paying the required kickbacks to his “partners” in the Party or otherwise offends its leadership he’ll be popping up on this app, guaranteed.

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I think this app is more about the little guys. If you’re big enough to be paying a lot of graft, but can’t or won’t cough up enough, that’s when you get purged for corruption.

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