The FT profiles how the Hong Kong-listed company keeps its customers glued to their phones and explores some of the darker Orwellian plans for a national social credit rating system.
Potentially more insidious are China’s plans to build a social credit rating system based on online behaviour. At face value, this plugs a glaring gap. China’s rapid but uneven development means only an estimated 30 per cent of the population is covered by the existing rating system, says Alfred Shang, a financial services partner at Bain & Co. The fears in China go beyond being excluded from loans due to their online profile. Some fear the plan, published by Beijing last year and due to roll out nationwide by 2020, aims to use algorithms and big data to rate citizens’ “honesty” and “trustworthiness” alongside their creditworthiness. At the worst, say privacy